Florence downgraded to tropical storm after the first deaths in North Carolina



First Hurricane Florence-related deaths confirmed

Hurricane Florence kills mother and baby, father in the hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday after making landfall earlier in the day about North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, weather officials said.

The update came after Florence claimed its first victims Friday afternoon, when two people died after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, police said.

The victims are a mother and a child, police said on Twitter. The father sustained injuries and was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for medical care.

WPD can confirm that the first two fatal victims of the Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington. A mother and child were killed when a tree fell on their house. The father was transported to NHRMC with injuries.

— Wilmington Police (@WilmingtonPD) September 14, 2018

Earlier Friday, the Wilmington Police tweeted that they were responding.

Two other persons were killed in the middle of the storm, the officials said.

A person in Lenoir county died, while the plug in a generator, according to a press release from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm,” Cooper said in the press release. “Hurricane Florence is going to continue its violent grind on our state for the day. Be extremely careful and stay alert.”

A fourth death was confirmed by an official in Pender County, North Carolina. An unidentified woman suffered a medical-related death in the middle of the storm if the emergency services were unable to reach her by a fallen tree, according to Public Information Officer Tammy Proctor.

The powerful Category 1 storm is his way south along the Carolina coast hours after the making of technical landfall early Friday morning. As of 2 pm, the storm was about 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, N. C., and about 35 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, S. C., the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.


Forecasters said the catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected and the inland waterway transport in the next few days as Florence creeps westward across the Carolinas and into the weekend.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually be a right-wing corner to the northeast across the southern Appalachians, the move in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday that Florence is “wreaking havoc” and he is involved “entire communities can be wiped out.

“Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless,” he said. “It is an uninvited brute who does not want to leave.”


Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard soldiers and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that can be used to pluck people from the water.

More than 600,000 people had already lost power by 1 p.m. Friday, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety reported.

Duke Energy said in a tweet that they anticipate 1 to 3 million outages in the Carolinas, adding that the recovery in the hardest-hit communities can take weeks.

Officials said that around 1.7 million people in the Carolina and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it is unclear how many have. The houses of around 10 million euro under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

Fox News’ Lissa Kaplan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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