Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina, early Friday morning, killing at least 18 people while destroying buildings, knocking out power for more than half a million people, and pushing floodwaters inland with unrelenting wind and rain. Among the fatalities were a mother and baby, who were killed when a tree fell on a house, and a 77-year-old man who apparently died after going out to check on his hunting dogs.
CNN reports that numerous highways, including sections of I-95 and I-40, are closed, and road flooding has virtually cut off the coastal city of Wilmington. Meanwhile, the AP reports that more than 60 people who defied evacuation orders had to be rescued from a collapsing motel as the storm hit, and at least 900 water rescues have been reported in North Carolina alone.
While Florence, a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, isn't as strong as many feared, it appears as though the slow-moving storm will linger for an abnormally long amount of time, increasing the chances of extreme flooding as it continues to douse the region with rain. Up to six more inches of rain could fall in parts of North Carolina and Virginia from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening.
Source: AP News