Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Five dead from Hurricane Florence, including mother and baby, say officials

Five dead from Hurricane Florence, including mother and baby, say officials

Hundreds of people are awaiting rescue from their homes in New Bern, North Carolina, as flood waters continue to rise from Hurricane Florence.

WCTI, the ABC affiliate in New Bern, was on-air with its meteorologists when the crew announced that their building was flooding, forcing the crew to evacuate. The 400-mile-wide hurricane has unloaded heavy rain, flattened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses.

Cuthbert Langley, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in South Carolina, told HuffPost that the organization has more than 1,500 disaster response volunteers spread across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

"And when the tide comes back up around noon, we will be inundated with additional storm surge", she said.

Hurricane-force winds will tear through more than 15,000 square miles of the Southeast in the next several days, even as Hurricane Florence starts to slow down.

Another Wilmington resident said she did not want to leave because she was afraid to see what she would come back to after the storm.

There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries.

The station's general manager, Matt Bowman, wrote in a statement that their reporting teams will continue providing their viewers with information as Hurricane Florence hits the Carolinas. As of 2 p.m., the storm was about 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, N.C., and about 35 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C.


The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - "overwhelmed" the town of New Bern at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. Gradual weakening is expected throughout the day Friday, with significant weakening predicted over the weekend. By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters.

More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders held out hope of being rescued.

It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management.

President Donald Trump has said protecting lives is his "absolute highest priority" and that the White House is standing by to offer affected states whatever help they request.

New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School.

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