Hurricane Florence has killed at least three people after it crashed on North Carolina’s coast on Friday. The storm is threatening catastrophic flooding while leaving scores in need of rescue from rising waters and hundreds of thousands without power.
A mother and child died in Wilmington when a tree fell on their home, police tweeted. Another woman died in Pender County, North Carolina, after suffering a medical condition. Her calls for help went unanswered after large trees blocked roads to her home said a police spokeswoman.
The centre of the hurricane’s eye came ashore at about 0715 EDT near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 150 kilometres per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, said Florence was set to cover almost all of the state in several feet of water.
National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted Florence would drop up to eight months of rain in two or three days.
More than 60 people, including many children and pets, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse, local officials said. No one was hurt.
More than 370,000 people were without power in North Carolina early on Friday, state officials said. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks.
Forecasters said the Category 1 storm’s extreme size meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for nearly a full day.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than one million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.
Almost 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Cooper said.
Read on EuroNews