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Florence: five dead in storm as flooding and surges continue – live updates Florence: five dead in storm as flooding and surges continue – live updates
(35 minutes later)
Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday night, but there were still sustained winds of 70mph.
Officials have warned that up to 50in of rain could lead to catastrophic flooding into next week.
The center of the storm crossed into South Carolina on Friday and was heading for Myrtle Beach, a coastal city.
There were more than 780,000 power outages reported in North Carolina as of Friday evening.
Water teams have rescued hundreds stranded in the city of New Bern, but were struggling to reach more than 100 people impacted by the flooding.
Authorities have linked at least five deaths to Florence, including a mother and infant killed when a tree collapsed on their house, a woman who died of a heart attack and a man who was electrocuted.
In Jacksonville, more than 60 people staying in a motel were forced to evacuate as the building collapsed.
White House officials said Donald Trump would be visiting areas affected by Florence sometime next week.
In some low-income housing communities, residents reported being unable to evacuate due to financial burdens.
A few scenes from a hotel in Wilmington where Guardian reporter Khushbu Shah is spending time with evacuees:A few scenes from a hotel in Wilmington where Guardian reporter Khushbu Shah is spending time with evacuees:
Christian, 10, is celebrating his 10th birthday at a hotel without power as he waits out the storm with sisters Adilyn, 7 and a half and Nevaeh, 6. Everyone in the lobby sang happy birthday to him in Wilmington #FlorenceHurricane2018 pic.twitter.com/91fO7ZmdjIChristian, 10, is celebrating his 10th birthday at a hotel without power as he waits out the storm with sisters Adilyn, 7 and a half and Nevaeh, 6. Everyone in the lobby sang happy birthday to him in Wilmington #FlorenceHurricane2018 pic.twitter.com/91fO7ZmdjI
An older woman in a wheelchair who evacuated her home didn’t bring any food with her to the hotel. She asked the hotel for food but they’ve run out and only had a banana. Someone overheard and went up to grab a plateful of food for her from their room. #FlorenceHurricane2018An older woman in a wheelchair who evacuated her home didn’t bring any food with her to the hotel. She asked the hotel for food but they’ve run out and only had a banana. Someone overheard and went up to grab a plateful of food for her from their room. #FlorenceHurricane2018
Didn’t have to go far at all to see destruction. An entire tree was uprooted by the hurricane and underneath it is part of the hotel roof. #FlorenceHurricane2018 pic.twitter.com/VgoMAxiJ2yDidn’t have to go far at all to see destruction. An entire tree was uprooted by the hurricane and underneath it is part of the hotel roof. #FlorenceHurricane2018 pic.twitter.com/VgoMAxiJ2y
Authorities have confirmed five deaths linked to Florence so far:Authorities have confirmed five deaths linked to Florence so far:
A mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington.A mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington.
In Kinston, a 78-year-old man was electrocuted, and a 77-year-old man was discovered dead after he went outside to check on his dogs, authorities said.In Kinston, a 78-year-old man was electrocuted, and a 77-year-old man was discovered dead after he went outside to check on his dogs, authorities said.
A woman died of an apparent heart attack in Pender county, where EMS and emergency personnel struggled to respond due to dangerous conditions.A woman died of an apparent heart attack in Pender county, where EMS and emergency personnel struggled to respond due to dangerous conditions.
I’ve confirmed 5 fatalities with officials in NC state: 2 in New Hanover County, 2 in Lenoir County, and 1 in Pender County. #FlorenceHurricane2018I’ve confirmed 5 fatalities with officials in NC state: 2 in New Hanover County, 2 in Lenoir County, and 1 in Pender County. #FlorenceHurricane2018
Climate scientist Michael Mann has published a comment piece in the Guardian about the “climate change triple threat” posed by Florence:Climate scientist Michael Mann has published a comment piece in the Guardian about the “climate change triple threat” posed by Florence:
An early autumn ocean “heat wave” has brought sea surface temperatures in the western Atlantic to bathtub-level warmth. Just as summer heat waves on land are greatly increased in frequency and intensity by even modest overall warming, so too are these ocean heat waves becoming more frequent and more extreme as the oceans continue warm. All else being equal, warmer oceans mean more energy to intensify tropical storms and hurricanes.An early autumn ocean “heat wave” has brought sea surface temperatures in the western Atlantic to bathtub-level warmth. Just as summer heat waves on land are greatly increased in frequency and intensity by even modest overall warming, so too are these ocean heat waves becoming more frequent and more extreme as the oceans continue warm. All else being equal, warmer oceans mean more energy to intensify tropical storms and hurricanes.
But when it comes to coastal threat, it hardly matters how many tropical storms there are over the course of the season. A single landfalling hurricane can wreak havoc and destruction. Think Katrina in 2005, Irene in 2011, Sandy in 2012, either Harvey or Maria in 2017 and now Florence in 2018.But when it comes to coastal threat, it hardly matters how many tropical storms there are over the course of the season. A single landfalling hurricane can wreak havoc and destruction. Think Katrina in 2005, Irene in 2011, Sandy in 2012, either Harvey or Maria in 2017 and now Florence in 2018.
In this sense, the sometimes fractious debate about whether we’ll see more or fewer storms in a warmer world is somewhat misplaced. What matters is that there is a consensus we’ll see stronger and worse flood-producing storms – and, in fact, we’re seeing them already. That brings us to Hurricane Florence: a climatologically-amplified triple threat.In this sense, the sometimes fractious debate about whether we’ll see more or fewer storms in a warmer world is somewhat misplaced. What matters is that there is a consensus we’ll see stronger and worse flood-producing storms – and, in fact, we’re seeing them already. That brings us to Hurricane Florence: a climatologically-amplified triple threat.
More here:More here:
There is a new flash flood emergency warning for Goldsboro, Smithfield, Selma, Princeton and other municipalities in North Carolina. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.There is a new flash flood emergency warning for Goldsboro, Smithfield, Selma, Princeton and other municipalities in North Carolina. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
The flash flood threat is just beginning in some areas. As #Florence moves slowly, double-digit rain totals will become more widespread. Avoid flooded areas, especially roadways. #TurnAroundDontDrown https://t.co/dCubnd9CVaThe flash flood threat is just beginning in some areas. As #Florence moves slowly, double-digit rain totals will become more widespread. Avoid flooded areas, especially roadways. #TurnAroundDontDrown https://t.co/dCubnd9CVa
Flash Flood Warning including Goldsboro NC, Smithfield NC, Selma NC until 10:00 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/QZkEwkJXsGFlash Flood Warning including Goldsboro NC, Smithfield NC, Selma NC until 10:00 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/QZkEwkJXsG
Some of the latest images of flooding and devastation from photographers on the ground:Some of the latest images of flooding and devastation from photographers on the ground:
And here is some footage of a rescue of two stranded dogs in Jacksonville:And here is some footage of a rescue of two stranded dogs in Jacksonville:
Good Samaritans find two dogs stranded on porch amid rising floodwaters in Jacksonville, North Carolina, carry them onto their boat and bring them to safety https://t.co/3F9pcbVDDh pic.twitter.com/wbHW85ed7lGood Samaritans find two dogs stranded on porch amid rising floodwaters in Jacksonville, North Carolina, carry them onto their boat and bring them to safety https://t.co/3F9pcbVDDh pic.twitter.com/wbHW85ed7l
Some more details on two storm-related deaths in Kinston from Lenoir county emergency services director Roger Dail:Some more details on two storm-related deaths in Kinston from Lenoir county emergency services director Roger Dail:
A 78-year-old male was electrocuted at a residence on Silver Smith Circle in Kinston this morning when he was attempting to connect two extension cords outside in the rain. His body was discovered by family members.A 78-year-old male was electrocuted at a residence on Silver Smith Circle in Kinston this morning when he was attempting to connect two extension cords outside in the rain. His body was discovered by family members.
A 77-year-old male’s body was discovered at 8am today by his family at his residence on Middle Street in Kinston. It is believed his death was caused when he was blown down by the wind when he went outside to check on his hunting dogs.A 77-year-old male’s body was discovered at 8am today by his family at his residence on Middle Street in Kinston. It is believed his death was caused when he was blown down by the wind when he went outside to check on his hunting dogs.
Both deaths have been reported to the state medical examiner’s office.Both deaths have been reported to the state medical examiner’s office.
Some new details from the Associated Press about the swift-water rescue teams assisting residents in New Bern, a community swamped by the storm:Some new details from the Associated Press about the swift-water rescue teams assisting residents in New Bern, a community swamped by the storm:
New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said more than 360 people had been rescued by mid-afternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help.New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said more than 360 people had been rescued by mid-afternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help.
She says crews from the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) were working with citizen volunteers to get people to dry ground.She says crews from the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) were working with citizen volunteers to get people to dry ground.
Roberts says there is widespread damage and power outages in the city but so far no reports of deaths or injuries.Roberts says there is widespread damage and power outages in the city but so far no reports of deaths or injuries.
The current statewide power outage total is 686,304, according to North Carolina officials. Details on the regions with the most problems here:The current statewide power outage total is 686,304, according to North Carolina officials. Details on the regions with the most problems here:
Current statewide power outage total is at 686,304, with the highest concentration in Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Johnston, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Wake and Wayne counties. Get updates: https://t.co/bg1ZzZckxTCurrent statewide power outage total is at 686,304, with the highest concentration in Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Johnston, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Wake and Wayne counties. Get updates: https://t.co/bg1ZzZckxT
An update from Guardian reporter Khushbu Shah, who is continuing to report from Wilmington:An update from Guardian reporter Khushbu Shah, who is continuing to report from Wilmington:
Officials have confirmed a “medical, storm-related fatality this morning as Hurricane Florence came ashore”. Details from Tammy Proctor, Pender county spokesperson:Officials have confirmed a “medical, storm-related fatality this morning as Hurricane Florence came ashore”. Details from Tammy Proctor, Pender county spokesperson:
At the height of the storm, EMS and emergency personnel attempted to respond. The roadway was blocked by trees and debris. A front loader was brought in to clear the roadway. A tree went into the windshield of the front loader. Due to the winds and dangerous conditions, operations had to cease at that time.At the height of the storm, EMS and emergency personnel attempted to respond. The roadway was blocked by trees and debris. A front loader was brought in to clear the roadway. A tree went into the windshield of the front loader. Due to the winds and dangerous conditions, operations had to cease at that time.
Details about the woman were not immediately available, and it appeared she died of a heart attack, Proctor said.Details about the woman were not immediately available, and it appeared she died of a heart attack, Proctor said.
Some updates from Governor Roy Cooper’s latest press conference:Some updates from Governor Roy Cooper’s latest press conference:
.@NC_Governor Cooper: UNC Chapel Hill has agreed to operate a mass shelter on their grounds. We are appreciative to all facilities that have opened their doors to operate as shelters. Efforts to get people long term housing after the storm are already underway..@NC_Governor Cooper: UNC Chapel Hill has agreed to operate a mass shelter on their grounds. We are appreciative to all facilities that have opened their doors to operate as shelters. Efforts to get people long term housing after the storm are already underway.
The governor said there were three confirmed deaths and more under investigation, but didn’t have additional details to provide.The governor said there were three confirmed deaths and more under investigation, but didn’t have additional details to provide.
There are 33 primary road locations and 30 secondary road locations that are experiencing flooding and over wash.There are 33 primary road locations and 30 secondary road locations that are experiencing flooding and over wash.
Utility crews are coming in from other states to restore power, and the governor urged people not to return home until they receive an “all clear”.Utility crews are coming in from other states to restore power, and the governor urged people not to return home until they receive an “all clear”.
Water teams have rescued hundreds of people in New Bern.Water teams have rescued hundreds of people in New Bern.
The highway patrol has responded to 80 collisions and 164 calls for service.The highway patrol has responded to 80 collisions and 164 calls for service.
Tropical storms are not barrelling along as fast as they used to – and there are consequences. Guardian journalist Kate Ravilious has some useful background about the science and the implications:Tropical storms are not barrelling along as fast as they used to – and there are consequences. Guardian journalist Kate Ravilious has some useful background about the science and the implications:
Research published in Nature earlier this year showed that the average speed at which tropical storms track has slowed down by 10% since 1949. Over land, speeds have decreased even further; around 30% for western North Pacific storms and 20% for North Atlantic ones. Changes in atmospheric circulation, caused by global warming, are thought to be behind the decrease in pace.Research published in Nature earlier this year showed that the average speed at which tropical storms track has slowed down by 10% since 1949. Over land, speeds have decreased even further; around 30% for western North Pacific storms and 20% for North Atlantic ones. Changes in atmospheric circulation, caused by global warming, are thought to be behind the decrease in pace.
Hurricanes that proceed at a trot instead of a canter are not good news.Hurricanes that proceed at a trot instead of a canter are not good news.
Read her full report here:Read her full report here:
Florence has officially been downgraded to a tropical storm, with winds now falling to 70mph. Surges and flooding will continue as the storm lashes South Carolina.Florence has officially been downgraded to a tropical storm, with winds now falling to 70mph. Surges and flooding will continue as the storm lashes South Carolina.
JUST IN: #Florence downgraded to a tropical storm as winds fall to 70 mph. https://t.co/MuLxSg3Qnz pic.twitter.com/Y8d1i4dJVAJUST IN: #Florence downgraded to a tropical storm as winds fall to 70 mph. https://t.co/MuLxSg3Qnz pic.twitter.com/Y8d1i4dJVA
#Florence has weakend to a Tropical Storm, but still poses a multi-day storm surge, flood and tornado threat as it slowly moves inland. Feet of rain are expected, don't let your guard down. Our live 24/7 coverage continues. pic.twitter.com/uOZusit8kr#Florence has weakend to a Tropical Storm, but still poses a multi-day storm surge, flood and tornado threat as it slowly moves inland. Feet of rain are expected, don't let your guard down. Our live 24/7 coverage continues. pic.twitter.com/uOZusit8kr
Sam Levin here, continuing our live coverage of the hurricane. Here’s the latest:Sam Levin here, continuing our live coverage of the hurricane. Here’s the latest:
Hurricane Florence has pounded the Carolinas coast with 90mph winds and a life-threatening storm surge.Hurricane Florence has pounded the Carolinas coast with 90mph winds and a life-threatening storm surge.
A mother and her infant child were killed by a tree that fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina.A mother and her infant child were killed by a tree that fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Another person was electrocuted trying to plug in a generator, according to the governor’s office.Another person was electrocuted trying to plug in a generator, according to the governor’s office.
The storm has cut power to more than half a million households.The storm has cut power to more than half a million households.
Florence made landfall on Friday morning as a category one hurricane, just outside Wilmington.Florence made landfall on Friday morning as a category one hurricane, just outside Wilmington.
In Jacksonville, more than 60 occupants of a motel had to evacuate as a building crumbled.In Jacksonville, more than 60 occupants of a motel had to evacuate as a building crumbled.
In the city of New Bern, authorities have said they were scrambling to reach roughly 150 people stranded by flooding.In the city of New Bern, authorities have said they were scrambling to reach roughly 150 people stranded by flooding.
Some North Carolina jurisdictions are issuing curfews for Friday evening.Some North Carolina jurisdictions are issuing curfews for Friday evening.
Some models are now predicting over 50 inches of rain for swaths of North Carolina.Some models are now predicting over 50 inches of rain for swaths of North Carolina.
Many North Carolina jurisdictions are issuing curfews tonight, and pleading with residents to shelter in place and stay off the roads. So far they include:Many North Carolina jurisdictions are issuing curfews tonight, and pleading with residents to shelter in place and stay off the roads. So far they include:
Counties: Wayne, Lenoir, Columbia, RobesonCounties: Wayne, Lenoir, Columbia, Robeson
Cities and towns: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Ayden, JacksonvilleCities and towns: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Ayden, Jacksonville
NEW: Wayne County, NC under mandatory curfew effective at 9 p.m. Only people allowed past curfew are those headed to work or emergency personnel. Violators will be charged. #ABC11 #Goldsboro #HurricaneFlorence2018 #HurricaneFlorenceNC pic.twitter.com/nzuJwHRxCaNEW: Wayne County, NC under mandatory curfew effective at 9 p.m. Only people allowed past curfew are those headed to work or emergency personnel. Violators will be charged. #ABC11 #Goldsboro #HurricaneFlorence2018 #HurricaneFlorenceNC pic.twitter.com/nzuJwHRxCa