Official Describes Hurricane Florence Rescue Efforts In Hard-Hit New Bern, North Carolina

Terry Joseph
September 17, 2018

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has urged residents in the path of the storm to "stay in a sheltered place" as Florence will "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

These types of slow-moving storms - like Hurricane Harvey - can be particularly risky because of the rain and flooding they can bring.

Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city's police department said. A gust of 170kph was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

Rather than rebuild, they moved to Wilmington, North Carolina - where Hurricane Florence threatened their new home this week. "The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries". All three people were in separate vehicles and died on Saturday, the Sheriff's Office said.

Hurricane Florence claimed its first victims Friday afternoon, when two people died after a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina, police said. High winds, life-threatening storm-surge flooding and significant rain are expected across a much wider area, according to the NHC.

According to the Weather Prediction Center, Wrightsville Beach had received over 18 inches of rain from 2 p.m. ET Thursday to 10 a.m. ET Friday. Later Friday, a wind gust of 68 miles per hour was measured at a station in Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington. Another man in the county who was checking on his dogs outside was killed in what his family thought was a wind-related death Friday morning, emergency officials said.

Almost 3,000 people died in the aftermath of the storm, according to an estimate from researchers at Georgetown University that was adopted by the Puerto Rican government as the official death toll for the storm.

"Rescue workers are working in risky conditions that will only get worse today", said Cooper, who called the storm a "1,000-year rain event" for parts of southeastern North Carolina.

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On average, a hurricane will hit North Carolina once every five years.

This time, there was no question of riding out the storm; she, two brothers, two sisters, her mother, a cousin and a cat piled into cars and headed north, hoping to squeeze in with relatives in New Jersey.

"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses", Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night.

Hurricane Florence is ravaging the US East Coast, knocking out power to half a million homes, causing buildings to crumble and stranding residents.

Almost 200 people have already been rescued, according to Colleen Roberts, a city public information officer, Fox News reported.

"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.

The winds became less violent as the eye, no longer well-formed but instead welling with rain, passed over the city after it made landfall at 7:15 a.m. Trees went down, as did power lines, and streets filled with debris.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a drenching that could go on all weekend.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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