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The Latest Menace for the Carolinas: Rising Flood Waters
Confirmed Dead Due to Hurricane Florence
16 September 2018, 07:40 | Justin Tyler
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper equated Hurricane Florence to an"uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave. Composite Getty Images
Rescue operations began as daylight broke over the North Carolina coast Friday morning, while Hurricane Florence continued to pound the area with wind and rain.
"The storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", Cooper warned residents at a news conference. On land, wind gusts hit the lower triple digits, but just off the coast, buoys recorded wind gusts at 112 miles per hour shortly before landfall.
"Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Florence on September 14 at 7:41 a.m. EDT minutes after the storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina packing winds of 90 miles an hour", NASA said in a video description.
"Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread inland across the remainder of the warning area through Saturday", the NHC said.
County officials said there is a high probability the banks of the Cape Fear River will overflow at a level higher than what occurred during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
Rescue workers in North Carolina meanwhile were scrambling to save people stranded in their homes.
Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher.
New Bern Police Lt. David Daniels said early Friday morning that between 150 and 200 people had been rescued so far, with others still waiting for help.
An earlier report that two deaths in Carteret County that were related to the storm have since been corrected.
"We are saddened by the sudden passing of one of our community, and our hearts go out to the family and friends who are now grieving during such an already stressful period", Amanda Hutcheson, the Brunswick County Government public information officer wrote in an email.
The hospital said it has received three injured patients.
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did. "Catastrophic effects will be felt".
The storm was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm late Friday.
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