Washington : At least seven people were killed as hurricane Florence made landfall in the US state of North Carolina, battering the state with a powerful combination of wind and rain. Warnings were issued about the risk of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of North and South Carolina as well as in Virginia.
It was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Friday, but continued to soak the East Coast area with rain, downing trees and damaging homes. Some areas grappled with intense flooding, while hundreds in the city of New Bern and North Carolina required rescue in the early hours of Saturday.
Parts of New Bern and North Carolina were 10 feet underwater after local rivers overflowed their banks. Thousands of people were staying in emergency shelters. Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region, the US media reported.
Florence was grinding over the eastern states, with winds of 65mph. It was expected to keep lashing parts of North and South Carolinas into the weekend, said the Washington Post. Up to 40 inches of rain and storm surges pushing water inland will produce catastrophic flash flooding, said the National Hurricane Centre.
Two people in Carteret County died due to the storm, officials said. A mother and her infant were killed in Wilmington when a tree fell on their home. The child’s father was transported to hospital with injuries.
Two men in 70s were killed in Lenoir County. One was killed connecting an electrical generator and another was killed in a wind-related incident when checking on dogs outside his property. An official said a woman died of cardiac arrest in Hampstead after emergency responders had route to reach her blocked by downed trees.