First deaths reported from Hurricane Florence after Wilmington home collapses

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Hurricane Florence has claimed the lives of four people in North Carolina, and left hundreds of thousands without power.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, a mother and infant were killed when a tree crashed into their home around 9:30 a.m. Friday morning.

"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington", the force tweeted on Friday afternoon.

A fallen tree crashed through the home where a woman and her baby were killed in Wilmington North Carolina after Hurricane Florence made landfall. The child's injured father was taken to a hospital.

The third death happened in Hampstead, Pender County when a woman had a medical emergency and EMS crews could not get to her due to the storm, according to Tom Collins, Director of Emergency Management.

U.S. Southeast power companies said over 722,000 homes and businesses located mostly in North Carolina and SC were without power on Friday after Hurricane Florence hit the coast.

Hurricane Florence remains a significant storm surge and flash flood event, according to the latest public advisory from the National Hurricane Center. As of 8 a.m. on Saturday the system was located about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and was about 45 miles south-southeast of Florence, S.C.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence was forecast to keep moving farther inland across the Carolinas through the weekend before turning toward the central Appalachian Mountains early next week. "We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband.




Parts of South College Road near the University of North Carolina Wilmington were reported blocked Friday, as were other major arteries like South 17th Street and parts of Oleander Road.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland declared states of emergency.

Some locations along the Carolina coast have reported 13-18 inches of rainfall from Florence, which is moving at about 6 miles per hour. She said that count is expected to increase significantly.

Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of sea water. Gradual weakening was expected Friday night, the hurricane center said.

Some of the worst flooding was in the town of New Bern, where many residents were trapped in their water-logged homes.

A fatal collision on Saturday morning left two injured and one dead in Georgetown County, SC.

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse.

The powerful Category 1 storm is making its way south along the Carolina coast hours after making technical landfall early Friday morning. Then it will swing to the northeast in the middle of next week on a path to the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, where it will be an extratropical low with gale-force winds.

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