At least 4 dead as Florence hits Carolina coast

Craven County braces for Hurricane Florence

-Intensity: Florence came ashore with top winds of 90 miles per hour (145 kph), below the 111 miles per hour (178 kph) threshold for a "major" hurricane but still extremely unsafe. The storm is expected to lumber into far southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC through Saturday, punishing the area with rain and damaging winds.

In New Bern, where dozens awaited rescue Friday morning, Peggy Perry said rising water forced her into the upper level of her home.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged people to take the storm seriously.

"I think it's going to be a little worse than other people thought", he said, looking out over the beach. He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet.

A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house, WECT reported.

"Very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and feared splintering trees would pummel her house.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing in the Neuse River just outside his house in the town of New Bern, hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

Its storm surge and the prospect of 1 to 3½ feet of rain were considered a bigger threat than its winds, which had dropped off from an alarming 140 miles per hour - Category 4 - earlier in the week.

They warned the public that many trees will continue to fall as the storm continues to bring hurricane-force winds and heavy rains to the area. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

The North Carolina Baptist Men's organization planned to begin soon moving kitchen equipment inland, where they expect to prepare 85,000 meals a day when all its feeding operations are up and running.

And the deluge is not even close to over - parts of North Carolina are set to receiveanother 15 inches of rainin the coming days, according to The National Weather Service.

A surge is likely along portions of the SC coast.

It added the greatest threats to life came from storm-surges while "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding" was expected, with some areas receiving up to 40 inches of rainfall. In the clip, journalist Mike Seidel can be seen struggling to stand on his feet due to high wind speeds as two men casually walk behind him in the background. In mountainous regions, officials warn of mudslides.

The death not related to the hurricane and it is under investigation.

Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

Floodwaters surged over roads, prompting the closing of Interstate 95 just north of the Carolinas' border.

Coastal streets flowed with frothy ocean water, and at least 490,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

A downed tree blocks a street in Wilmington after being uprooted by Florence's strong winds.

More than ten people have been killed by Florence and her impact as the remnants of the storm moved through the area Saturday.

Dozens have already been rescued in New Bern. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. "It's making it hard for us to move valuable resources to areas in need". "Don't make yourself someone who needs to be rescued".

"Our house is on high ground so we're not anxious about the flooding", he said. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

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