Sign explodes from hurricane winds

Scenes from Hurricane Florence making landfall on the United States' east coast

Mimi Razzi and her family left Pawleys Island, South Carolina, ahead of the hurricane, and heard about the hotel offer on the drive north.

"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington", the force tweeted on Friday afternoon.

The father was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment, where no update was provided on his condition.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said North Carolina is likely to see eight months of rain in two to three days. When they got to the home, the woman was deceased, Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.

Hurricane Florence smashed into the US East Coast on Friday with howling winds, torrential rains and life-threatening storm surges as emergency crews scrambled to rescue hundreds of people stranded in their homes by flood waters.

Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls westward across the Carolinas all weekend. A 105 miles per hour wind gust recorded in Wilmington Friday morning was the second-strongest ever. "It's better to just leave and then come back and see what has happened all at once". The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way.

Farther up the coast, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported. Rainfalls up to 40 inches (102 centimeters) in some places are expected in a region ranging from coastal North Carolina to northeastern SC, with flash flooding likely, according to the NHC.

The North Carolina State Emergency Response Team released a statement Saturday night indicating a, 81-year-old man died in Wayne County after falling and hitting his head as he packed to evacuate on Friday.

Once winds drop to 73 miles per hour, Florence will become a tropical storm.

Parker says water levels in some areas of Craven County are already higher than levels from Hurricane Irene.

Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and its restoration could take weeks.

In Morehead City, Brooke Kittrell rode out the storm Thursday and Friday with her boyfriend aboard their docked boat, hoping it didn't break loose and slam something. "Of course, I live in New Bern, I'm a property owner here, I have friends that live here and have property here, work here, and it's devastating to see our handsome community and parts of it underwater, and to even worry about my own home".

-A 61-year-old woman was killed late Friday when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree near the town of Union, South Carolina, Capt. Kelley Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said.

"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.

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