FLORENCE: Tree falls on Wilmington home, killing mother, child

First death during Hurricane Florence confirmed in Pender County

In local police reported that in Wilmington in the fall of a tree on a house, killing the mother and baby.

She went to say that she did not start to get anxious until about 3 a.m. when the power went out and she wasn't able to get the generator restarted.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared a year ago for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the center of the storm.

In addition, the threat of storm surges looms for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Cape Fear River with "confidence increasing in potentially catastrophic flooding in the Sandhills and the southern Coastal Plain", county officials said in an email update on storm conditions at 11 a.m.

Video footage showed parking lots in the riverfront town of New Bern turn into shallow lakes of dirty gray water as heavy rain fell.

Florence is inching along after making landfall in North Carolina, trapping people in flooded homes and promising days of destruction and human suffering.

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A number of evacuation centres were set up for residents at local schools, which officials said would remain closed on Friday. Six years ago, Columbia Gas accepted blame for a gas explosion in Springfield, Massachusetts, that injured 17 people.

Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

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.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

Roy Cooper described Hurricane Florence, which slammed into his state early Friday, as "an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".

Around 11 p.m. Friday, Florence was about 15 miles west-northwest of Myrtle Beach, SC, moving west-southwest at 5 mph, packing maximum-sustained winds of 65 mph.

Tropical Storm Isaac became Tropical Depression Isaac Friday morning.

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

A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina. It's moving north-northeast at 18 miles per hour.

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