Mother, baby dead as Hurricane Florence drenches the Carolinas

Spotlight: Five killed in US East Coast as Hurricane Florence weakening to tropical storm - Xinhua |

Spotlight: Five killed in US East Coast as Hurricane Florence weakening to tropical storm - Xinhua |

CNN reporter Derek Van Dam was at a North Carolina Beach as the eyewall of Hurricane Florence came onshore. And that's when people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose.

The National Hurricane Center described Florence's path as a wobble around southeastern North Carolina.

Florence has already set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths.

After enduring more than 10 feet of storm surge and nearly 9 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Florence, the city of New Bern, North Carolina, said Saturday it has completed all water rescues.

Cooper said others should not follow suit. It also led many people to mock the reporter for his demeanor reporting on the storm. "Roads are closed in many places and more are closing even as we speak".

Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents and their pets from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence Sept. 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed at least five storm-related deaths, and warned people who fled their homes against going back too soon. Authorities expect the death toll to rise in the coming days.

The figure included a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house.

A 68-year-old man in Lenoir County who died when he was electrocuted while plugging in a generator. In Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack after paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

People around the Carolinas are being told that say they can buy flood insurance policy right now that will cover damage done by Florence, according to FEMA.

But the wind is not the main threat to people and property from the storm; it's thestorm surgeandrainfall, which combined have caused serious flooding in the low-lying coastal regions of the Carolinas. "We face walls of water".

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

New Bern, home to approximately 30,000 people, sits about 37 miles northeast of Jacksonville on the banks of the Neuse River.

As of Saturday afternoon, about 752,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC.

Heavy rains: Up to 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) falling on seven states over seven days, as much water as there is the entire Chesapeake Bay.

"Once the last drops of rain [have] occurred doesn't mean problems are over", he said.

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said some areas have already received two feet of rain and could expect up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over eastern North Carolina.

Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach more than 360 people besieged by rising waters in New Bern, while many of their neighbours awaited help. "Nobody expected this", a rescued resident, Tom Ballance, toldThe Weather Channel.

The small town of Hamlet in Richmond County, North Carolina, for example, is full of toxic emitters: within its borders are a chicken processing plant, an energy company and a wood pellet manufacturer that broke ground within the past few years.

23 aviation rescues, and counting.

The video had been viewed more than 3.6 million times and had received nearly 60,000 retweets as of Friday evening.

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