Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Mother, baby killed after tree falls on home during Hurricane Florence

Mother, baby killed after tree falls on home during Hurricane Florence

The effects of Hurricane Florence have already arrived on the East Coast of the United States, where massive floods have already begun and as much asthe National Hurricane Center forecasts 40 inches of rain and 11 feet of flooding from the storm surge. "If you're called to go, you need to go".

At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.

With one grueling day behind them, the Carolinas on Friday grappled with rising water and cascading misery from a deadly and agonizingly slow-moving Tropical Storm Florence expected to linger through the weekend.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

"This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide", the hurricane center said, "resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases".

The path of Florence will make the unsafe weather conditions last for days, as it has slowed down upon reaching land.

"The slower it moves, the longer these rain bands take", National Hurricane Center Ken Graham warned.

The National Weather Service shared images of Union Point on the shore at New Bern before and after the storm surge hit.

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It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

When all is said and done, Florence could dump 18 trillion gallons along its path, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue.

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.

Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

"In Harvey, vibration from wind caused [one] to register rain", said hydrodynamics branch chief Robert Holmes.

By then, Craven County had already gotten more than 100 calls from people who said they were trapped in their homes and in vehicles, public information officer Amber Parker tells TIME Friday morning.

Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the electricity went out.

"Very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and feared splintering trees would pummel her house.

More than 80,000 people in North Carolina already were without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire. More than 1.7 million were ordered to evacuate in advance of the storm.

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