Tropical Storm Florence to batter United States for days, officials warn

17 September, 2018, 10:03 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • High winds and water surround buildings as Hurricane Florence hits Sawnsboro. Image AAP

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.

Authorities have confirmed those storm-related deaths, including a mother and her infant child who died after a tree fell on their home in New Hanover County, where the storm hit Friday morning with a 105 miles per hour wind gust, the strongest wind in the city since 1958.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of anywhere from 1 to 3½ feet as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

"The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's getting worse", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, and called Florence a "thousand-year rain event".

Scientists can't say - yet - that climate change helped make Florence worse.

Storm surge of up to 13 feet will be "life threatening" and rainfall of up to 40 inches will mean "catastrophic" flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the USA electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm. "The station was flying 255 miles over the storm at the time this video was captured".

SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area.

The storm knocked out power as it tore across the northern part of Luzon Island - an area which is home to around 10 million people, many of whom live in flimsy wooden homes.

A 77-year-old in Lenoir County is believed to have died after he was blown away by heavy winds while attempting to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence on the eastern coast of the United States. Image AAP
This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence on the eastern coast of the United States. Image AAP

Over 60 people had to be pulled out of a collapsing motel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and hundreds were saved as water levels rose.

Crews are planning to assess the damage from the storm Saturday morning, weather permitting.

Homes are boarded up before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Carolina Beach, N.C.

As Filipinos struggled to cope with the wrath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut on Saturday, people on the other side of the world felt the Atlantic Ocean's deadly rage, in the form of Tropical Storm Florence.

Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to".

Aerial footage shows flooding and storm damage in New Bern and Nags Head, North Carolina.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated. The streets were mostly deserted and some were blocked by fallen trees.

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

She said she called 911, but no one came.

Cooper told ABC News' David Muir that residents should continue to shelter in place, even though Florence is no longer a hurricane, because roads are covered in debris and water, and rescues are still taking place in coastal areas.

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