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First Hurricane Florence deaths: mother, infant killed by tree
16 September 2018, 07:42 | Dale Webster
NASA video shows Hurricane Florence from space as it makes landfall
Wilmington Police have confirmed that a mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their home. The father received injuries and were hospitalized for medical care. "The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland", he said.
These types of slow-moving storms - like Hurricane Harvey - can be particularly unsafe because of the rain and flooding they can bring.
The hurricane is massive: at 400 miles wide, its hurricane-force winds stretch across a 160-mile span, as ABC reported.
"I built this house myself, so I'm not anxious at all, I know it's solid", he said. "I see the beach communities' being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic".
While forecasters have been keeping a close eye on the storm from the ground, the International Space Station watched the slow-moving hurricane make landfall from above.
In the town of New Bern, 30,000 residents stayed behind in spite of mandatory evacuation orders.
Hurricane Florence, weakened but still unsafe, has crashed into the Carolinas on Friday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with floodwaters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a days-long deluge.
New Bern Police Lt. David Daniels said early Friday morning that between 150 and 200 people had been rescued so far, with others still waiting for help.
"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm", Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release.
Almost 300,000 customers in North Carolina were meanwhile reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached.
At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
With winds picking up along the coastline earlier Thursday, federal and state officials had issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system. More than 20,000 people in North Carolina spent the night in emergency shelters Friday night.
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest. The storm is moving at a crawling speed - just 3 miles per hour.
More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire.
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