At least 4 dead as Florence hits Carolina coast

Gwen Vasquez
September 17, 2018

As of early Friday afternoon, 20 inches of rain had already fallen in parts of North Carolina - and some resolution models are predicting that by Sunday, the southeastern part of the state could see 50 inches of rain.

Neighbor Adam Sparks said he noticed emergency responders arrive at the house across the street right around when his power went out and the storm was intensifying.

Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to more than 700,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere near an end. Officials are predicting that potentially 2.5 million customers could be without power as the storm continues on.

Also of concern is the sprawling Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia and Marine Corps bases at Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point in North Carolina and at Parris Island in SC.

"They've been out there for about six hours now just screaming for help", she said. "We're going to have to have patience, we're going to have to be careful and we're going to have to deal with a lot of water". She said that count is expected to increase significantly. But spokeswoman Diane Villa says some animals, including bison and elk, will stay in fenced-in yards instead of barns because they don't like being in fully enclosed spaces.

"These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said.

Zaytoun now regrets his decision, he said.

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Forecasters said conditions will continue to deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland. Although the storm is now a Category 1 hurricane, it is still dumping feet of rain over coastal communities.

WILMINGTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Firefighters look into a home that a large tree fell on that has three people trapped after Hurricane Florence hit the area on September 14, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

This next video below, taken by Mark Cogdell, shows a gas station on Market St.in Wilmington, North Carolina collapsing in Hurricane Florence's winds.

"If you seek to prey upon the citizens of Brunswick County, we're going to do everything we can to lock you up", Ingram warned.

In a Facebook live event at around 7:30 a.m. Friday, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said that Charlotte could get 10 to 15 inches of rain and Roanoke could see 6 to 10 inches.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper calls Florence the "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities. The Little River, the Cape Fear, the Lumber, the Neuse, the Waccamaw and the Pee Dee were all projected to overrun their banks, possibly flooding cities and towns.

As 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach scores of people besieged by rising waters along a river.

About 1,600 animals at the North Carolina Zoo are hunkered down, with zoo workers moving swiftly to get elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees and hundreds of other species indoors to safety.

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