Mother, infant, among several killed by Hurricane Florence

Don't play games with it, says Trump as Hurricane Florence heads for US East Coast

A woman and her baby were killed when a tree fell on their house and several more storm-related deaths were reported Friday as Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolinas, dousing the eastern United States with torrential rain.

The storm made landfall at Wrightsville Beach at 7:15 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted during the height of the storm.

"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington". The father was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries. When they got to the home, the woman was deceased, Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.

Almost 3,000 people died in the aftermath of the storm, according to an estimate from researchers at Georgetown University that was adopted by the Puerto Rican government as the official death toll for the storm.

Florence was inching along Friday night, trapping people in flooded homes and promising days of destruction and human suffering.

Later downgraded to a tropical storm, slow-moving Florence arrived over North and SC just after 7am local time on Friday, bringing torrential rain and severe floods.

Billy Porch, who lives at the Atlantic Breeze Apartments, said he wasn't going to start worrying until the water reached the stairs to the second level or rear of the complex. Coastal storm surge is expected to be as high as 13 feet, according to the National Hurricane Center. That number was down to 40 later in the day.

The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said. Downpours and flooding would be especially severe, lasting for days, if the storm stalls over land. Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in. But Currivan said he's not anxious.

Parts of the Carolinas are expected to see 20 to 30 inches of rain over the next seven days. "Rainfall amounts could vary substantially over a rather short distance". Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

"The evacuation was countywide, but since we're not in a flood zone, we weren't really anxious about that", she told VOA.

More than 360 people had been rescued by midafternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told The Associated Press. Six sheriff's officers came to his house to rescue him Friday morning, but he didn't need to leave since the water was dropping by then.

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He said he did not know the family well but that the couple had multiple young children.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. City spokeswoman Colleen Roberts tells WRAL-TV that 200 people have already been rescued.

Eventually, a citizen rescue crew came with a boat.

Images and video posted on Twitter from the town of Washington, North Carolina, show that floodwaters have travelled as much as 30 miles (nearly 50 kilometers) inland along the Pamlico River, drowning the riverfront. Forecasters predict it will make landfall between Thursday and Friday.

She succeeded - staying awake all night, retying broken dock lines in howling winds.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

It didn't take long for Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand to start feeling its impacts, with the area waking up to steady 20-30 miles per hour winds Friday morning.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos * a href="https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleNC.gov/?tn-str=k*F" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

And Hurricane Florence, though far from the fastest-windspeed storm in recent memory, remains a significant threat precisely due to the large surge and huge rainfall it's dumping on affected areas.

Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.

It all seems pretty bad, I mean, actually, real bad.

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