Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds

Paul Anthony Menchaca.         Source Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Paul Anthony Menchaca. Source Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

The father was transported to a hospital for treatment.

In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a heart attack and died because hurricane debris blocking roads prevented paramedics from reaching her.

One person was killed in Lenoir County, North Carolina while plugging in a generator, according to a press release from Governor Roy Cooper's Office.

Duke has said it could take several weeks to fully restore power in areas that are inaccessible due to flooding. On the morning of September 14, the National Hurricane Centre warned that "catastrophic" flooding and "life-threatening" storm surges were expected to spread inland.

"To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place". The coming storm surges and heavy rains will cause severe flooding that may submerge parts of the Carolinas in up to 40 inches of rain.

Hurricane Florence is moving at a speed of 6mph, and as of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) update at 5am AST (10am BST), was located 10 miles east of Wilmington.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington on Friday morning, battering the coastal city with strong winds and torrential rain.

It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days. Twenty inches (50 cm) were reported by early Friday afternoon in the town of Oriental.

Millions of people around the world are now going through some extreme weather conditions as a result of Hurricane Florence.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

Teia Cherry and her family thought they could ride out Florence, now a tropical storm, at home. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they are seeing the floodwaters rise".

In Belhaven, the Pungo River roared into town, crashing up against homes at a waist-high level and higher late Thursday and early Friday, video from Amy Johnson showed.

"It's insane", he said in a phone interview.

"It started pouring down rain and again so I was like, 'We got to get out of here".

"If you are trying to make climate policy", Maue said Friday, "you don't want to make it on a storm-by-storm basis".

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

The storm was a unsafe Category 4 hurricane Wednesday but was downgraded Thursday night to a Category 1 storm.

As it moves inland, the storm is expected to bring its high winds and intense rain bands across the southeastern corner of North Carolina and a large chunk of SC. The hurricane, which has been downgraded from a category four storm to a category two, is not expected to weaken any further before it hits the coast.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm.

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