"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington".
A mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their home Friday, and another woman died from a heart attack when emergency crews were unable to get to her home because of downed trees. "The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries".
Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat.
Florence is now a tropical storm sitting over the Carolina coasts and moving slowly inland and south, causing life-threatening storm surges and potentially "catastrophic freshwater flooding" according to the National Weather Service. 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.
Winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power. Six sheriff's officers came to his house to rescue him Friday morning, but he didn't need to leave since the water was dropping by then. More than 20,000 people in North Carolina spent the night in emergency shelters Friday night. She plans to continue to ride out the storm.
MPR News reports that half-million homes and businesses are without power, a statistic that will likely rise as the storm expands its reach. The storm is expected to lumber into far southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC through Saturday, punishing the area with rain and damaging winds.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The Carolinas are no stranger to hurricanes or tropical storms.
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Hurricane Florence is battering North Carolina with wild winds and a powerful storm surge.
Rainfall will be one of the most destructive elements of hurricane Florence, with heavy rain triggering unsafe flash floods and potential landslides.
Parker says that while she's holding up OK so far, she worries about her friends and others in the community, and about how Florence might impact her home.
A city spokeswoman for New Bern, NC, said more than 200 people were rescued from floodwaters Thursday night, and confirmed that 150 more were waiting to be rescued by Friday morning.
The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said people could still leave flood-prone areas.
Gibson said Friday that while she and her family were safe, she and her husband had gotten around 75 calls and texts from others asking for help.
"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse.
As it moves near OH and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low.
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