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Mother, infant are first fatalities after tree falls

15 September 2018

"A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house", police tweeted Friday afternoon.

WILMINGTON: Florence barreled into the Carolina coast and moved inland on Friday, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the death of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue. They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades. A reporter for CNN Wilmington affiliate WWAY said firefighters where shaken up by what they encountered at the home. About 150 more had to wait to be rescued as conditions worsened.

A man attached to a respiratory machine sits in a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., September 13, 2018.

Fisher said support staff includes food service employees providing "four hot meals each day" and child care services for about 100 children staying at the hospital while their parents work. "The water started rising and we evacuated nearly an entire TV station in about 15 minutes". As her son fed the goats in a hotel parking lot, she said she might not be able to return home until the middle of next week. With Florence, "we're looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days".

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"It's the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help and you can't do anything", she said. Lt. David Daniels of the New Bern Police Department told "CBS This Morning" that 911 calls in his town are being answered and the "system is up and working".

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern to a hotel some almost 80 miles (130 km) away.

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.

She succeeded - staying awake all night, retying broken dock lines in howling winds. "The storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days".

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

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By Friday morning, the shore was flooded, and buildings were damaged, in video she put up on Facebook.

Nearly 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Cooper said.

Tropical Storm Florence is practically stalled over the Carolinas and the monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet (1 meter). The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach.

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week.

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