The death toll from Tropical Storm Florence has reached 11 after it dumped “epic” amounts of rain on North and South Carolina, knocking out power and devastating communities.
“This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news briefing.
As of Saturday afternoon, about 752,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in South Carolina.
The Associated Press reports that the dead included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina. South Carolina officials said a 61-year-old woman was also killed when her car hit a tree.
Three people also died in Duplin – a husband and wife who died in a house fire linked to the storm and an 81-year-old man who died after falling and hitting his head while packing to evacuate.
Hurricane Florence is making landfall on the U.S. east coast on September 14, hitting North Carolina with winds of 90 mph (150 kph), a dangerous storm surge and drenching rain. More than 150,000 people do not have power, according to the BBC.
The National Hurricane Center said at 6am (ET) that Florence’s eyewall was onshore in North Carolina and landfall of the center would occur very soon. It warned of life-threatening storm surges, flooding and hurricane strength winds.
NWS Forecast Offices Weather Prediction Center Storm Prediction Center Ocean Prediction Center Local Forecast Offices Central Pacific Hurricane Center Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Centers Canadian Hurricane Centre Joint Typhoon Warning Center Other Tropical Cyclone Centers WMO Severe Weather Info Centre
More than 10 million people are still in its potentially devastating sights. The storm was generating waves as big as 83 feet. (CBS Local)
The storm’s top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 mph to 110 mph on Thursday, reducing the storm from category four to category two. But forecasters warned that flooding, storm surges and huge rainfall are dangerous and expected to reach far inland. (CNN)
Vice-President Mike Pence postponed a planned trip to Georgia as updated forecasts show Florence is expected to threaten the state. (The Augusta Chronicle)
The U.S National Hurricane Center had warned residents of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia of a “life-threatening storm surge”.
- See also: Tracking Hurricane Florence