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Hurricane Florence: North Carolina family's garage submerged in water

Hurricane Florence: North Carolina family's garage submerged in water

A mother and infant in North Carolina are dead after a tree fell on their home - the first two fatalities of Hurricane Florence. The child's father was taken to a hospital.

U.S. Rep. George Holding, of Raleigh, told FOX Business Channel Thursday that Florence could leave parts of North Carolina without power into October.

USA media later said a second man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".

New Bern, the city on the North Carolina coast where the Neuse River and Trent River intersect, was reeling Friday after being inundated from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.

"I think it's going to be a little worse than other people thought", he said, looking out over the beach. "We're deeply concerned for whole communities which could be wiped away".

Hurricane Florence had been projected to hit the area earlier in the week, causing many people to hit the stores and stock up on bread, water and batteries.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

On Friday morning, Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, bringing extreme winds, surging seas, and huge amounts of rain to the coast. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way.

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"This is not the end of it", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A gust of 169km/h was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago. The storm is expected to lumber into far southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC through Saturday, punishing the area with rain and damaging winds.

"Some of the rainfall totals we're getting are already adding up to about 14 inches", NHC Director Ken Graham said shortly after 11 a.m. ET.

It's hard to believe while looking at these images, but this isn't even the biggest storm devastating the planet right now.

The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward 35 miles (55 kms) from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 170 miles (280 kms) out.

Many counties in southern North Carolina remain under a tornado watch until 7 a.m.

Florence is about 644 kilometres wide and it's winds have dropped from a peak of 225 km/h to 165 km/h, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a Category 2. Hundreds have been rescued from their homes. "We are not going to make it, '" Cherry said.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.


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