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Florence strikes Carolina coast with life-threatening storm surge, flooding, power outages

Florence strikes Carolina coast with life-threatening storm surge, flooding, power outages

- A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared a year ago for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath.

"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington".

The father was also home, and he was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Crews had been on the scene clearing the roads, but have since suspended operations, according to Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins.

"The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving very slowly to the west at only 6 miles an hour, then is expected to turn to the southwest, increasing the threat for historic storm surge and catastrophic flooding to coastline areas and inland cities in North Carolina and SC". Coastal and river communities on the north side of Florence are getting the worst of the flooding as the hurricane swirls onto land pushing a life-threatening storm surge.

Wrightsville Beach is the closest beach to Wilmington, and about 10 miles from the coast. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. "It's better to just leave and then come back and see what has happened all at once".

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In the besieged North Carolina city of New Bern, rescuers by midmorning Friday had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said. At least 1 million people were ordered to evacuate along the coast. The Carteret Country Sheriff's Department confirmed that these two deaths initially reported as a result of Florence were a result of an apparent murder-suicide. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Up to 40 inches of rain could fall across the Carolinas over the weekend, rivaling the rainfall totals of hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in 1999.

Dozens have already been rescued in New Bern.

Rainfall will be one of the most destructive elements of hurricane Florence, with heavy rain triggering unsafe flash floods and potential landslides. Gradual weakening was expected Friday night, the hurricane center said.

State and local officials have been warning residents the danger has not subsided as the Carolinas face what is expected to be historic flooding across the region. She died Friday morning.

Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help people to higher ground after rescuing them from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in James City, North Carolina.

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