Mother, baby killed after tree falls on home during Hurricane Florence

Mother, baby killed after tree falls on home during Hurricane Florence

The 63-year-old former firefighter says he was able to sleep through the torrential rain and thrashing winds when then-Hurricane Florence made landfall early Friday morning, only waking up to texts he received at 7 a.m. from friends checking up on him.

Police confirmed the fatalities on Twitter, saying the father of the child was being transported to a local medical centre to be treated for his injuries.

The White House said Friday U.S. President Donald Trump will travel to areas hit by Hurricane Florence next week, once it has been determined that his travel would not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts.

After days of watching and waiting for Hurricane Florence's arrival, the hurricane finally made landfall - as a Category 1 - in North Carolina early Friday.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday evening with peak winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km/h).

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In New Bern, North Carolina, a historic city founded in the early 1700s at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers., the storm surge overwhelmed its 30,000 residents.

Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were inundated.

New Bern resident Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch.

North Carolina emergency management officials said more than 600,000 customers in North Carolina were without power.

By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

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Near the beach in Wilmington, a Waffle House restaurant, part of a chain with a reputation for staying open during disasters, had no plan to close even if power was lost, and there were lines to get in on Thursday evening. New Bern police urged anyone who needs assistance or know of people who need assistance to call 911 operators and give specific details, like the person's name, location and possible phone numbers.

The National Hurricane Centre said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week. But officials are warning not to get rid of all your water and bread just yet."People think they might be far away from the storm, but it can still cause impacts to inland communities", said FEMA spokesperson Daniel Llargues. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury.

Immigration officers have been dispatched to help with response and recovery as Florence lashes North and SC with life-threatening winds, rain and floods.

"Heavy rain has been occurring in and around Oriental, North Carolina, where 20.37 inches of rainfall has been measured thus far", the National Hurricane Center said in an update. "We can not underestimate this storm". Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible 9-foot storm surge as the Category 2 hurricane approaches the United States.

"And since we're already on high ground, those two things together kind of help insulate us a little more than, I would say, others", she said.

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Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did.

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