Mother, baby dead as Hurricane Florence drenches the Carolinas

Watch Hurricane Florence Make Landfall in This Incredible Space Station Video

So far, at least three people have died because of the storm, including a mother and infant who were in a Mercer Avenue house when it was struck by a felled tree. The father was transported to the hospital with injuries.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown area was under water by Friday afternoon.

A fallen tree lies atop the crushed roof of a fast food restaurant after the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm", Cooper said in a statement.

The rest of SC into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia is expected to report 5 to 10 inches of additional rainfall, with isolated cases of 15 inches.

Though forecasters later downgraded Florence to a tropical storm, the monster system is barely moving over the Carolinas and could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet (1 meter).

Florence drove almost 1 million people from their homes and almost 700,000 lost power.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph over warm ocean water before making 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. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain while another man died when he was knocked down by high winds while checking on his dogs.

"It will not stop, this weather event of Florence", Begnaud said.

Roads became flooded, trees blown over and homes destroyed as some parts of North Carolina have already seen surges of flood water as high as 10ft.

Prior to Hurricane Florence's landfall, more than 1.7 million were ordered to evacuate the coast.

The wind howled and sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before dawn in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed.

A severe inland flood threat is emerging as remnants of Florence pound the Carolinas with almost nonstop rain for a second day since the once major hurricane howled ashore.

By Saturday morning, top sustained winds had weakened to 50 mph as it moved farther inland at 2 mph about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

"In about four days when all the water comes down from North Carolina, that's when we're going to have a problem".

"I actually think it is one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about", Trump said on Monday.

Florence had been a Category-3 hurricane on Thursday but dropped to Category-1 before coming ashore. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter. By Friday evening, the eye of the storm had moved to SC. The figure for SC was 170,000.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is awesome and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood on Saturday. About 400 people have been rescued.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

Through the day, the storm's pace slowed even more, from 10 miles per hour Thursday morning to 3 miles per hour by Friday evening.

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