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By Brian RiesVeronica RochaMeg WagnerPaul P. Murphy and Eric Levenson, CNN

Updated 2 hr 51 min ago11:19 p.m. ET, September 15, 2018

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Here’s what’s next for Tropical Storm Florence

Here’s what’s next for Tropical Storm Florence

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Florence pummels the Carolinas

By Brian RiesVeronica RochaMeg WagnerPaul P. Murphy and Eric Levenson, CNN

Updated 2 hr 41 min ago11:19 p.m. ET, September 15, 2018

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2 hr 41 min ago

13,000 US soldiers assigned

The US Army is committing troops to help with Hurricane Florence recovery efforts, providing soldiers and engineers, as well as planes and amphibious vehicles.

More than 13,000 service members have been deployed to provide support in affected areas, from the US Army and the National Guard as well as teams from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Army is also freeing up 4,500 cots, 200 medical beds and 18 water purification systems.

In a news release the US Army said it was also supplying:

  • Over 70 rotary wing aircraft plus another 200 additional aircraft available within 24-72 hours if necessary.
  • Approximately 30 watercraft and 3,000 Army High Water Vehicles from Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Drum, New York; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky for ground search and rescue, commodities distribution, citizen transportation, and patient movement.
3 hr 9 min ago

Hurricane death toll rises to 13

Two more deaths in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence were recorded in Horry County, in South Carolina, late Sunday, taking the total toll from the storm to 13. The latest deaths involve a man and woman who died from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the SC Department of Public Safety.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

10 in North Carolina

  • A 41-year-old woman and her seven-month-old son died in Wilmington on Sept. 14 when a tree fell on their home.
  • A 68-year-old man in Lenoir County died when he was electrocuted while plugging in a generator on Sept. 14.
  • A 77-year-old man in Lenoir County fell and died due to a cardiac event while outside checking on dogs during the storm on the night of Sept. 13/14.
  • An 81-year-old man in Wayne County fell and struck his head while packing to evacuate on Sept. 14.
  • A husband and wife died in a house fire in Cumberland County on Sept. 14.
  • Duplin County has had 3 fatalities due to flash flooding and swift water on roadways.

3 in South Carolina 

  • A 61-year-old woman lost her life when her car struck a tree that fell down during the aftermath of Hurricane — she’s been named as Mrs. Amber Dawn Lee from Union County.
  • Two fatalities occurred when a man and woman died in Horry County due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the SC Dept of Public Safety.
5 hr 56 min ago

Update: Over 732,000 customers without power in the Carolinas

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, there are  704,483 statewide power outages. Electric cooperatives of South Carolina report 28,328 outages.

That brings the total number of customers without power to 732,811 across both states.

5 hr 29 min ago

Lumber River in North Carolina now at 17.6 feet

From CNN’s Cassie Spodak

Corey Walters, City of Lumberton deputy director of public works, tells CNN the Lumber River is currently at 17.6 feet. When the water reaches 26 feet, it is projected to overwhelm the barriers and flood the nearby communities. The area has already been put under a mandatory evacuation order.

There is flooding “everywhere in the city… the rescues are non-stop,” Walters said, adding that there have been “hundreds of rescues.”

“This is our worst-case scenario,” Walters said.

The deputy director said city has received 19 inches of rain since the start of Florence and it is projected to get over 25 inches total.

6 hr 47 min ago

Hurricane baby born after parents flee North Carolina

From CNN’s Dakin Andone

As Florence battered the Carolina coast, one couple who evacuated their home in New Bern, North Carolina, welcomed a baby girl.

Rachel and Levi English left the state to seek refuge at a relative’s home in Pennsylvania, and it wasn’t long after arrived that baby Matilda made her entrance.

Read more here.

6 hr 52 min ago

Death toll rises to 11

Florence has killed at least 11 people in both North Carolina and South Carolina, officials from both states have reported. Duplin County, North Carolina, has had 3 fatalities due to flash flooding and swift water on roadways, according to the Sheriff’s Office, bringing the state’s storm-related deaths to ten people.

North Carolina’s Chief Medical Examiner’s office has details on the 7 deaths in that state:

  • 41-year-old female and her seven-month-old son died in Wilmington, NC, when a tree fell on their home
  • 68-year-old male in Lenoir County, NC, who died when he was electrocuted while plugging in a generator
  • 77-year-old male in Lenoir County, NC, who fell and died due to a cardiac event while outside checking on dogs during the storm
  • An 81-year-old man in Wayne County, NC, who fell and struck his head while packing to evacuate
  • A husband and wife died in a house fire in Cumberland County, NC

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster released the name of the woman who died.

  • Amber Dawn Lee, 61, from Union County, SC, died when her car struck a tree that fell down during the aftermath of Florence, according to a South Carolina Office of Emergency Management official
3 hr 16 min ago

Man arrested for allegedly looting in North Carolina

A man was arrested for allegedly looting an Exxon gas station and convenience store in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Saturday, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

New Hanover Sheriff@NewHanoverSO

NHSO has just arrested a man for looting the Exxon Store at 810 N College Rd. Sheriff McMahon said if you break into someone’s home or business we will arrest you!

From the New Hanover Sheriff’s twitter account:

“If you break into someone’s home or business, we will arrest you!”

 

7 hr 24 min ago

NOAA Satellites show Florence’s slow march inland

NOAA Satellites

@NOAASatellites

The center of is still slowly making its way across eastern South Carolina, as seen by . Heavy rains and catastrophic flooding persist across parts of the Carolinas. Latest: http://go.usa.gov/xPgvE 

NOAA says in a tweet:

“The center of #Florence is still slowly making its way across eastern South Carolina, as seen by #GOESEast. Heavy rains and catastrophic flooding persist across parts of the Carolinas.”

7 hr 29 min ago

Hazardous situation near Lumber River in North Carolina

From CNN’s Polo Sandoval

The situation is quickly growing more dangerous for people in the low-lying areas near the Lumber River in Lumberton, North Carolina.

The message below was sent out by the Robeson County PIO.

“ALL SHELTERS ARE OPEN. St Pauls High School, Purnell Swett High School, Lumberton High School, Fairmont Middle. Please evacuate NOW if you are living in a low-lying area or your home is flooding. Please share this important!!!!!”

7 hr 34 min ago

1 additional storm-related fatality in North Carolina

Duplin County, North Carolina, has had three fatalities due to flash flooding and swift water on roadways, according to the sheriff’s office.

This brings storm-related fatalities to nine. Eight people have died in North Carolina while one person died in South Carolina.

7 hr 32 min ago

Trump and Pence receive update on storm at the White House

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence receive an emergency preparedness update call on the impact of Hurricane Florence in the Treaty Room of the White House.

8 hr 56 min ago

The Lumber River is rising faster than officials expected

From CNN’s AnneClaire Stapleton

The water in the Lumber River is rising faster than officials in Lumberton, North Carolina, expected, Corey Walters, City of Lumberton deputy director of public works, tells CNN’s Cassie Spodak.

It’s estimated the water is now close to 15 feet — flood stage is 13 feet.

The city has spent the last 24 hours frantically trying to build up a barrier in a gap in the levee system here, where a train track runs under I-95, that helped lead to the devastating flooding after Hurricane Matthew, he said.

Lumberton public information officer Emily Jones told CNN the water is rising faster than expected and has already reached 14 feet. It is expected to reach 24 feet by lunch time tomorrow.

There is no mandatory evacuation but residents in the low-lying areas that were flooding during Hurricane Matthew should leave now.

8 hr 40 min ago

Out-of-state travelers should avoid driving through NC, DOT says

From CNN’s Keith Allen and Greg Wallace

People wait in line to fill up their gas cans at a gas station that was damaged when Hurricane Florence hit the area, on September 15, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon is asking out-of-state travelers to avoid driving through North Carolina, as much of the state is dealing with rising flood waters from Florence.

“We could see this for several days,” Trogdon said at a Saturday press conference. “This is what we need to do today to make sure motorists are safe in North Carolina.”

“Stay off the roads in most parts of North Carolina,” NC Governor Roy Cooper echoed. “All roads in the state are at risk of floods.”

All lanes of Interstate 95 are closed in both directions between Exit 81 near Raleigh-Durham and Exit 65 near Godwin, due to flooding, according to NC DOT.

While a portion of Interstate 95 near Dunn, North Carolina, is expected to re-open tomorrow, NC DOT anticipates additional closures in the Fayetteville area, near the Cape Fear River. Those closures could last a week.

Drivers from neighboring Georgia and Virginia are being asked to use alternative routes, NC DOT says.

Detours for through traffic have been established. Here’s a hotline for navigation assistance: 1-833-786-7618.

10 hr 1 min ago

Water Rescues completed in the city of New Bern

The City of New Bern has completed all of its water rescues, the city posted on its official Twitter account.

City of New Bern@CityofNewBern

We have completed all of our water rescues & want to sincerely thank all of the volunteers who helped us save lives. You rock! We couldn’t have done it without you! If boaters are looking to help, pls reach out to other communities who might still have needs.

According to CNN meteorologists, as of Friday evening, New Bern had already seen more than 10 feet of storm surge and likely more than 10 inches of rain, and hundreds of people had to be rescued.

As of Saturday morning, 100 remained waiting for help.

New Bern, home to approximately 30,000 people, sits about 37 miles northeast of Jacksonville, North Carolina, on the banks of the Neuse River. Thursday, a CNN team in the area watched as the water spilled over the edge of the river and flooded Union Point Park in a matter of hours.

12 hr 6 min ago

Fayetteville police warn everyone within a mile of the river to evacuate

Residents of Cumberland County, the city of Fayetteville, and the town of Wade, have been ordered to evacuate as officials fear rising river waters will lead to widespread flooding.

“All residents within one mile of the banks of the Cape Fear and Little River should leave IMMEDIATELY,” the police department tweeted, as the city’s communications director told CNN “the worst is yet to come.”

“We’re starting to see the waters rise rapidly. It’s something we’ve seen before with hurricane Matthew. It’s going to be a little bit worse this time around,” Kevin Arata said.

“What we’re telling people is the worse is yet to come. Really the rains are starting to collect because it’s hitting harder up north. When it goes into those banks or tributaries up there and then comes down, that’s where trouble starts. While we haven’t seen it rise all the way yet, it’s going to happen here in the next 24 to 48 hours,” he said.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Fayetteville Police

@FayettevillePD

*****MANDATORY EVACUATIONS*****

There is a mandatory evacuation in place for citizens of Cumberland County, City of Fayetteville, and the town of Wade. All residents within one mile of the banks of the Cape Fear and Little River should leave IMMEDIATELY

12 hr 24 min ago

The Carolina coast has at least 12 more hours of rain to go

Play Video

Florence is traveling westward, but it’s not done dumping rain on the Carolina coast.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said some coastal areas of North and South Carolina should prepare for another 12 hours of rain — or more.

“That question of when does it finally end is on a lot of folk’s minds. The problem is for the majority of them, you still have at least probably a good 12 hours to go, if not longer,” she said.

That’s because Florence is moving at a speed of about 2 mph. That’s slower than most people walk.

“You could probably walk faster than this storm has been moving. The good news is it is still moving,” she said.

12 hr 47 min ago

1 dead in South Carolina

From CNN’s Chuck Johnson

A 61-year-old woman died in South Carolina when her car hit a tree that fell in Hurricane Florence, according to South Carolina Office of Emergency Management spokesman Antonio Diggs.

Diggs said the woman was driving in Union County on Friday but did give any additional details.

This is the first death reported in South Carolina linked to the storm. Five people have died in North Carolina:

  • A mother and her infant child died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city’s police department said.
  • In the town of Hampstead, a woman in cardiac arrest was found dead after emergency responders found their path blocked by downed trees, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.
  • Two men in Lenoir County also died: One who was hooking up a generator and another who was checking on his dogs outside.
12 hr 53 min ago

More than 150 blood drives were canceled because of Florence

The American Red Cross says more than 150 blood drives have been canceled through early next week in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia because of Florence.

Those cancelations will result in more than 4,400 uncollected blood and platelet donations, the organization said.

“We need platelet blood donations now, and in the coming days, to recover the donations canceled by the storm,” the Red Cross said in a statement.

The organization is encouraging residents in unaffected areas to donate blood to help.

13 hr 11 min ago

North Carolina governor: If you’re safe, stay put

Florence is unloading “epic amounts of rainfall,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a press conference Saturday.

“The flood danger from this storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall 24 hours ago,” he said.

Cooper also offered advice for residents:

  • “If you are safe, stay put. We know that people are anxious to get back home. But don’t go back until this storm passes and you get the official all clear.”
  • “Water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don’t typically flood. Many people who think that the storm has missed them have yet to see its threat.
  • “Remember, most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars. Don’t drive across standing or moving water.

On top of the advice, Cooper shared some words of hope and inspiration.

“We in North Carolina have been through tough storms and this one is sure testing us,” he said. “But now is the time for us to persevere. I have never known North Carolinians to quit in the face of a challenge and we’re not about to start.”

Watch more:

CNN Newsroom

@CNNnewsroom

NC Governor Roy Cooper’s advice to those affected by Tropical Storm Florence:

– “If you are safe, stay put”

– “Know that the water is rising fast, everywhere”

– “Many people who think that the storm has missed them, have yet to see its threat” http://cnn.it/2My4tGr 

13 hr 24 min ago

These are the top wind speeds recorded across North Carolina

A volunteer rescue truck drives underneath a fallen tree in New Bern, North Carolina.

The National Weather Service is tracking wind speeds across North Carolina.

Here’s a look at some of the peak gusts recorded across the state:

  • New River inlet: 112 mph
  • Fort Macon: 105 mph
  • Wilmington International Airport: 105 mph
  • Cape Lookout: 97 mph
  • Cedar Island: 89 mph
  • Cherry Point: 87 mph
  • Jacksonville: 86 mph
  • Frisco Woods: 80 mph
  • Ocracoke: 80 mph
14 hr 2 min ago

How the government is responding to Florence, by the numbers

From CNN’s From Greg Wallace and Lauren Fox

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency just gave an update on how they’re handling Florence. They said they believe they have adequate supplies including meals and generators.

Here are the latest numbers FEMA provided:

  • 6,500 National Guard have deployed. Another 2,900 active duty are also standing by.
  • 7,500 Coast Guard have deployed.
  • 43 helicopters are in use, and the Coast Guard is beginning to conduct flights to assess damage and the situation on the ground.
  • The military has 1,300 high-water trucks working and available in the region.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers has 120 generators available in the region and more are on the way.
  • US Health & Human Services has 560 personnel deployed, mostly assisting individuals at shelters with their health care needs.
  • The one number we don’t have? There’s no cost estimate from FEMA for this storm. However, “This is going to be a costly storm,” officials said.
14 hr 7 min ago

Almost 1 million customers without power in the Carolinas

More than 960,000 power outages have been reported in North and South Carolina due to the storm.

809,665 power outages have been reported in North Carolina. 155,097 power outages have been reported in South Carolina.

That’s 964,762 customers total without power.

But keep in mind: These numbers reflect the customers without power, not people. A lot of those customers might have multiple people in their households, meaning the number of people without power could be even higher.

14 hr 30 min ago

These are the rain totals across North Carolina (from reporting stations that didn’t break in the storm)

From CNN’s Judson Jones

Parts of North Carolina have seen more than two feet of rain. The city of Swansboro alone has gotten more than 30 inches — which breaks the all-time record for rainfall in a tropical system in the state of North Carolina.

Here’s a breakdown of the top rain fall reports across the state. But note: These are only from stations that are still reporting. It’s unclear how many stations broke during Florence.

  • Swansboro: 30.58 inches
  • Hofmann: 25.87 inches
  • Newport/Morehead City: 23.75 inches
  • Emerald Isle: 23.49 inches
  • Elizabethtown: 20.17 inches
  • Croatan: 19.89 inches
  • Cedar Point: 19.25 inches
  • Mount Olive: 16.80 inches
  • Jacksonville: 16.13 inches
  • Kinston: 16.01 inches
14 hr 38 min ago

South Carolina official: We’re expecting flooding next week

From CNN’s Paul Vercammen

Horry County spokesperson Kelly Brosky said her South Carolina county has some localized flooding but is otherwise doing pretty well. That might change soon though.

“We anticipate more serious flooding next week,” she said.

For now, the situation seems to be under control. There aren’t any major road closures and officials are getting crews on the field to focus on fallen trees and power restoration.

About 87,000 people are without power, and 2,700 people are in shelters, Brosky said.

15 hr 9 min ago

Florence is about 40 miles away from Florence, South Carolina

From CNN’s Judson Jones

Tropical Storm Florence now has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s still crawling westward across South Carolina at just 2 mph, which is about as fast as you walk.

“Heavy rains and catastrophic flooding continue across portions of North Carolina and South Carolina,” the service said in an update.

Of note: Florence is about 40 miles south of Florence, South Carolina.

15 hr 14 min ago

All the ponies on this North Carolina island survived the storm

All of the ponies on North Carolina’s Ocracoke Island are safe, the National Park Service tweeted.

Even the pony pen remained intact.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

@CapeHatterasNPS

We are happy to announce that all of the Ocracoke ponies are safe and that the pony pen did not sustain any damage from Hurricane Florence.

Horses were first documented on Ocracoke Island when European colonists settled there in the 1730s. Since then, they’ve been a major part of its history.

We’re not sure how wild horses in other areas are doing, but we’ll keep you posted here as soon as we learn more. Ahead of the storm, experts suggested that North Carolina’s wild horses would be OK.

Meg Puckett, herd manager of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, said the ponies were built to weather storms like Florence.

“These horses have been here centuries,” she told CNN earlier this week. “They are probably better equipped to handle this kind of weather than anybody else on the Outer Banks right now.”

15 hr 21 min ago

2 deaths reported this morning are not actually storm-related, officials say

From CNN’s Chuck Johnston in Atlanta

Two deaths characterized this morning by North Carolina’s Carteret Office of Emergency Services as being “storm related” are not related to Florence, according to the Sheriff’s Department in Carteret County.

On Friday, the Carteret County Sheriff’s Department responded during active hurricane conditions to investigate the reported deaths of residents there, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Department.

A preliminary investigation confirmed the deaths of couple Pauly and Alicia Lewis to be murder-suicide, according to a statement from the department.

Carteret County Emergency Services spokeswoman Amanda Tesch says there are no storm related deaths in the county.

The death toll for Florence stands at 5 people.

  • A mother and her infant child died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city’s police department said.
  • In the town of Hampstead, a woman in cardiac arrest was found dead after emergency responders found their path blocked by downed trees, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.
  • Two men in Lenoir County also died: One who was hooking up a generator and another who was checking on his dogs outside.
15 hr 32 min ago

This is the most rain North Carolina has ever seen during a tropical system

From CNN’s Brandon Miller

Florence has dumped 30.58 inches of rainfall in Swansboro, North Carolina.

This breaks the all-time record for rainfall in a tropical system in the state of North Carolina.

The previous record was 24.06 inches, and it was set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

And remember: This number — and all rain totals — are preliminary and subject to change.

15 hr 53 min ago

FEMA: This storm isn’t over. There’s still a lot of rain to come.

Jeff Byard, with FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery, urged residents along to Carolina coast to stay vigilant as Florence begins to move away from the area.

While the storm’s winds may be weakening, water — in the form of heavy rainfall, flash flooding and storm surge — is still a concern.

“Wind can hurt you,” Byard said at a Saturday morning news conference. “It is the water, it’s the surge, it’s the rain that … can kill you more than the wind can.”

Water has accounted for more than 75% of all hurricane-related fatalities in the US from 1963 to 2012. Wind, on the other hand, is only responsible for 8% of all deaths.

“There’s a lot of rain to come. There’s a lot of rain that’s fallen,” Byard said.

Watch more:

Play Video

16 hr 13 min ago

North Carolina is still bracing for possible flooding

While Tropical Florence is starting to move away from North Carolina, its effects aren’t over. Many communities are bracing for flooding.

CNN’s Polo Sandoval is reporting from Lumberton, North Carolina.

“The real threat could still be ahead for many communities, because all of that water has to go somewhere,” Sandoval said.

He continued: “Many people here believe that the worst could still be ahead. Yes, they were spared the wind damage, but the floodwaters — that could still be in their future.”

CNN Newsroom

@CNNnewsroom

“The real threat could still be ahead … all that water has to go somewhere,” says @PoloSandovalCNN in Lumberton, North Carolina, where communities face a serious risk of flooding after Tropical Storm Florence http://cnn.it/2NhOsJW 

15 hr 38 min ago

100 people still need to be rescued from one North Carolina city

About 100 people in New Bern, North Carolina, still need to be rescued from the floodwaters brought on by the storm, the city’s mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN.

Rescuers have already plucked about 400 people out of the waters since Friday afternoon.

The city has seen more than 10 feet of storm surge and likely more than 10 inches of rain as of Friday evening, according to CNN meteorologists.

New Bern is home to approximately 30,000 people and sits about 37 miles northeast of Jacksonville, North Carolina.

16 hr 51 min ago

You could walk as fast as Florence is moving

From CNN’s Judson Jones

Tropical Storm Florence is moving at 2 mph. That’s about as fast as you could walk.

Since making landfall yesterday in North Carolina, Florence has only moved about 100 miles. That is an average of just about 4 mph for 24 hours.

For comparison: The average speed for an Atlantic hurricane at Florence’s latitude is 16.9 mph.

Why the speed matters: Florence’s slow crawl is why the flooding has been — and will continue to be — catastrophic. As the storm continues to slowly move west, it is close enough to the coast to pick up moisture and energy from the ocean (therefore allowing extreme feeder bands of rain to continue to pour over the same saturated areas of South and North Carolina).

17 hr 10 min ago

Meanwhile, rescues from a super typhoon are under way in the Philippines

From CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore


Aquino Lord, who shot the video before rushing to help the rescue team, said the team was able to get him out safely.

“The man in the video is safe,” he told CNN. “He attempted to pass across the flowing water but he failed. He is from our neighboring Barangay. At the moment that this incident happened, we were not yet there. We just came to help.”

17 hr 21 min ago

At least seven dead in North Carolina

From CNN’s Chuck Johnston

Two people in Carteret County, North Carolina, have died due to the storm, according to the Carteret County Office of Emergency Management Services.

Officials say the Carteret County Sheriff’s Department will release additional details this morning.

This brings the total storm deaths to seven people.

  • A mother and her infant child died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city’s police department said.
  • In the town of Hampstead, a woman in cardiac arrest was found dead after emergency responders found their path blocked by downed trees, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.
  • Two men in Lenoir County also died: One who was hooking up a generator and another who was checking on his dogs outside.
15 hr 57 min ago

President Trump approves North Carolina’s disaster declaration

President Trump has approved a disaster declaration for eight North Carolina counties, the White House said in a statement Saturday.

The approval makes available federal funding, which can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low cost loans to cover uninsured property losses as well as other aid both for homeowners and business owners.

The counties included in the declaration are:

  • Beaufort
  • Brunswick
  • Carteret
  • Craven
  • New Hanover
  • Onslow
  • Pamlico
  • Pender
17 hr 40 min ago

A tree fell into this North Carolina man’s bedroom (and missed hitting him by 3 feet)

From CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore

A North Carolina man went to sleep during Florence — and woke up to tree branches in his bedroom.

Harry Mathias III said his father was sleeping in his New Bern home when a tree came crashing through the ceiling.

“About an hour after he fell asleep, a piece of drywall came in from the ceiling woke him, along with the rest of us, with a loud bang,” he told CNN. “After taking a look we realized rain water was coming in and tree branches were coming in from the attic.”

He added: “If the tree had fallen about 3-4 more feet, it would have crushed my father to death.”

Despite the harrowing experience, Mathias said he dad went out to cut up other fallen trees in the rain, just 10 hours afterward.

Here’s the footage:

Shaboom Banana@ShaboomBanana


Tree in my dad’s bedroom. ~New Bern, NC

18 hr 1 min ago

Here’s where Florence is now and where it’s heading next

The National Hurricane Center just released it’s latest forecast advisory for Tropical Storm Florence. It has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, and it’s moving westward at 2 mph (that’s a walking pace).

The storm is expected to travel northwest through South Carolina today and tomorrow morning. After that, it will keep curving to the north, the latest potential track shows.

Here’s the latest projected path:

18 hr 18 min ago

It’s been 24 hours since Florence hit

It’s officially been 24 hours since the eye of hurricane Florence made landfall on the coast of North Carolina yesterday.

While Florence has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, it still packs a powerful punch. It is expected to hover over the Carolinas today, dumping tons of rain, and flash-flooding is still possible. (Remember water — not wind — is the deadliest storm hazard).

Here’s what has unfolded in the 24 hours since Florence made landfall:

  • Flooding for miles: Up to 40 inches of rain and storm surges pushing water inland will produce catastrophic flash flooding, the National Hurricane Center says.
  • Water rescues: There have been hundreds of rescues specifically in the city of New Bern, North Carolina. 
  • Rising rivers: Rivers in North Carolina are expected to crest higher than during 2016’s Hurricane Matthew in some areas, emergency officials said.

Watch more:

Play Video

17 hr 32 min ago

It’s morning on the East Coast. Here’s what you need to know about the storm.

Florence, now a tropical storm, is hovering over South Carolina after making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane yesterday morning. Here’s what to expect today:

  • Florence’s effects: The storm will continue to trigger “life-threatening, catastrophic” flash floods in North and South Carolina, south-central Virginia and West Virginia in the coming days, the US National Weather Service said in a tweet on Saturday morning.
  • The victims: At least five people have died in the storm, including an infant. 
  • Power outages: Nearly 950,000 customers are without power in the Carolinas
  • Where it’s going: Forecasts show Florence traveling westward through South Carolina today. Tomorrow, it will begin to turn north.
18 hr 56 min ago

More than 780,000 people are without power in North Carolina

North Carolina Emergency Management says 786,769 customers are without power statewide.

The good news? This is approximately 3,000 less power outages than reported late last night.

19 hr 7 min ago

Here’s what’s next for Tropical Storm Florence

19 hr 28 min ago

Family trapped in Florence floodwaters kept hearing people screaming for help

Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue three children from their flooded home in James City, North Carolina.

Annazette Riley-Cromartie and her family decided against evacuating their home in eastern North Carolina after noticing that the massive storm appeared to be weakening.

“It came in slowly, but then it steady kept rising,” Riley-Cromartie told CNN.

The family quickly retreated to higher areas of the house but then heard the unmistakable sounds of people crying out for help.

“You just keep hearing people yelling, and you can’t do anything,” Riley-Cromartie said. “It’s the worst feeling in the world.”

Read the full story behind their rescue here.

19 hr 43 min ago

Storm knocks out power to nearly 781k in NC

At least 780,964 residents in North Carolina have been left without power around the state, according to North Carolina Emergency Management.

The highest concentration of outages are in Brunswick, New Hanover, Carteret, Cumberland, Johnston, and Robeson counties, the agency tweeted.

Volunteers from all over North Carolina are helping rescue residents from their flooded homes in New Bern, North Carolina.
20 hr 1 min ago

Officials release latest weather forecasts

Tropical storm Florence will continue to trigger “life-threatening, catastrophic” flash floods in North and South Carolina, south-central Virginia and West Virginia in the coming days, the US National Weather Service said in a tweet on Saturday morning.

NWS WPC

@NWSWPC

[UPDATE: 530 AM Saturday] Here is the latest information on the life-threatening, catastrophic flooding from Florence.

Separately, the US National Hurricane Center also warned of storm surges as the extreme weather event continues to lumber inland.

National Hurricane Center

@NHC_Atlantic

Tropical Storm continues to cause catastrophic flooding in portions of North and South Carolina.

20 hr 21 min ago

In photos: Florence’s trail of devastation

Storm surges, punishing winds and torrential rain are turning some towns in the Carolinas into rushing rivers.

Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents and their pets from their flooded homes on Friday.
Hundreds of trees have collapsed after water-logged soil could no longer bear the weight.
Broken from their moorings, boats are wrecked against a railroad bridge that crosses the Neuse River.
20 hr 34 min ago

What a rescue crew saw when then-Hurricane Florence made landfall

New Jersey Emergency Management posted a video on their official Twitter account of the moment then-Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina.

The footage was captured looking out of the front of one of their high-water vehicles and shows the heavy rain lashing the surroundings as the road ahead begins to flood.

NJOEM

@ReadyNJ

Early morning views from one of our high water vehicles as made landfall in North Carolina.

Are you prepared for hurricane season? Visit http://ready.nj.gov  today!

20 hr 47 min ago

More than 165k without power in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the storm has knocked out power to more than 165,000 homes across the state, according to a tweet from South Carolina Emergency Management on Saturday morning.

The organization also warned people to use flashlights rather than candles and never to use a generator inside their residences.

SCEMD

@SCEMD

More than 165,000 households are without power across SC due to . If you lose power try to use flashlights instead of candles. Never use a generator inside your home or garage. Keep it more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows for safety.

21 hr 2 min ago

Rescuers work to save people from rising water

Lieutenant Mitchell Ruslander and his team from Swift-water rescue have been working around the clock to help residents caught in the storm.

“We were out all night last night actually cutting holes in people’s roofs because the water levels rose so high, so quick,” he tells CNN.

“It’s just way more than I expected … Absolute worst is the flooding.”

An area in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, usually meant for street parking and relaxing on park benches is inundated by water from the swollen Cape Fear River.

And although the hurricane has been downgraded, he warns that people shouldn’t get complacent and immediately assume that they can return home. He suggests that residents who evacuated continue to monitor the storm.

“It’s going to take several days for all of this water to go away,” he adds.

21 hr 7 min ago

Two deaths reported from Typhoon Mangkhut

From journalist Jinky Jorgio and CNN’s Jo Shelly and Alexandra Field in Santiago, Philippines

A woman holds her umbrella against the heavy rains pounding Manila on Saturday.

As Florence continues to release a deluge upon the Carolinas, another massive storm is wreaking havoc in Southeast Asia.

Two people have died in the hours since Mangkhut made landfall, according to the Philippines’ national disaster agency.

Ricardo Jalad, Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said two first responders were found dead in the Cordillera Administrative Region on the island of Luzon.

Jalad also reported 51 landslides across the region as a result of the storm.

Read more on Typhoon Mangkhut here.

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