Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Florence downgraded to tropical storm, but will continue to threaten Carolinas

Florence downgraded to tropical storm, but will continue to threaten Carolinas

The centre of Tropical Storm Florence has moved into SC, and both it and North Carolina continue to face powerful winds and catastrophic flooding.

Stalled: Florence was almost at a standstill Friday afternoon, moving at just 3 miles per hour.

A mother and her infant were killed in Wilmington when a tree fell on their home on Friday.

The father of the child, who was also in the house, was transported to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center with injuries, police added, without releasing the names of the casualties.

A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her. Trump will travel next week to areas hit by Florence.

By early afternoon, its winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

With flood waters advancing rapidly in many communities, around 50 stranded people had been airlifted out by helicopter in North Carolina, said Petty Officer Michael Himes of the U.S. Coast Guard. People were stuck in their cars, attics and rooftops, waiting for rescuers in boats.

Gibson said Friday that while she and her family were safe, she and her husband had gotten around 75 calls and texts from others asking for help.

SC authorities reported one death.

Florence would not be the first test of North Carolina manure pits, or "lagoons".

But the size of the storm meant the path didn't really matter. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

Nearly 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks. In sum, the storm is turning out to be every bit as devastating as forecasters expected, with trillions of gallons of rain still in the forecast, hundreds of people needing rescue, hundreds of thousands of power outages and a handful of deaths.

"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life", Gov. Roy Cooper said.

The National Hurricane Center reported Florence had sustained winds of more than 144 km/h at landfall and was moving slowly westward.

"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". In Belhaven, the rising Pungo River almost swallowed the first floor of a house.

He said flooding will continue for days and the full magnitude of the hurricane is unknown. "For overall damage, it would be hard, at the end of the day, I think, to find a rival for this storm". Additional swiftwater rescue teams were on the way. The destination for the crews is Camp McCrady, a National Guard training center in SC.

"Now a major hurricane with winds of 115 miles an hour and increasing, the National Hurricane Center says Florence's forecast track will take the system over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and Florence will approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday".

Sixteen MTEMC employees and 10 trucks left Lebanon on Thursday at 8 a.m. headed to Raleigh, North Carolina, before they head to Newport, North Carolina, where crews will assist Carteret-Craven Electric Membership Corp. with restoration efforts.

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