Friday, 22 February, 2019

Tropical Storm Florence brings heavy rain and gusty winds

The Neuse River floods a street in New Bern N.C. on Friday The Neuse River floods a street in New Bern N.C. on Friday
Theresa Hayes | 17 September, 2018, 00:02

WILMINGTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Firefighters look into a home that a large tree fell on that has three people trapped after Hurricane Florence hit the area on September 14, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city's police department said.

"I left Wilmington like a woman leaving home after a disagreement with her partner".

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, D, said the state was facing "an extremely risky situation, and it's getting worse" as the hurricane continued its assault. "And then it will shift to putting our communities back together". Governor Roy Cooper's office said he died while plugging in a generator.

Florence "is twice the size of Hurricane Hugo", which tore through the Carolinas in 1989, New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told "GMA".

Hundreds of people in North Carolina have been rescued from rising water.

We're seeing photos of devastating flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Florence in the eastern part of North Carolina.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", Cooper said. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".

Sample said that when he looked outside of his house, which is about 1,000 yards from the beach, he saw the rain pooling up on the street and what looked like storm surge coming up the road. "You're going to have flooding miles and miles inland", the center's director, Ken Graham, said.

Power outages increased throughout Friday.

Just a few minutes before the now-Category 1 storm made landfall, cameras on board the International Space Station managed to catch the mesmerising footage below.

"You're going to have a hard time finding a North Carolinian who is not going to be affected by this storm in some way", Cooper said.

About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday.

While winds are slowly waning, peak gusts earlier Friday topped 80 miles per hour in numerous locations, with a pair of 105 miles per hour gusts in Wilmington and Fort Macon, near Atlantic Beach. But it has already dumped up 10 to 18 inches of rain from the Outer Banks to the southeast coast.

Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers - and the storm is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over.

It has now been downgraded to a tropical storm but continues to wreak havoc as heavy rain is flooding several areas in the south-west and winds continue to pull infrastructure apart.

Florence is moving west-southwest, and is expected to continue on this trajectory throughout Saturday morning.