Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Friday, battering the state with a powerful combination of wind and rain. At least four deaths have been linked to the storm, according to officials. Some areas are grappling with intense flooding, while many in the city of New Bern required rescue in the early hours of the day.
The large and dangerous storm is expected to keep lashing parts of North and South Carolina through the day and into the weekend. Follow Hurricane Florence’s projected path here and read the latest forecasts here.
Officials in North Carolina have now linked at least four deaths to the storm, including a mother and an infant killed when a tree toppled on their home.
The mother and infant were killed in Wilmington, N.C., when the tree fell over, police said. The tree also injured a third person — the father — who was taken to the hospital, according to authorities.
In Pender County, officials said that a woman died Friday morning when she was having a heart attack and emergency crews were unable to reach her in time due to downed trees and debris in the road.
The crews attempting to reach her tried to move the debris with a front loader, but a tree went through the windshield of the equipment, causing further delays, the officials said.
“This happened this morning at the height of our storm,” said Tammy Proctor, a spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview. “High winds, we have tree debris … when our EMS people can’t get to something, it bothers them.”
A fourth person died in Lenoir County when they were plugging in a generator, according to the office of Gov. Roy Cooper (D), which did not provide additional information.
“Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm,” Cooper said in a statement. “Hurricane Florence is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days. Be extremely careful and stay alert.”