18 Dead After Hurricane Florence Hits North Carolina

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