Hurricane Florence's Death Toll Reaches 16
CAROLINA – September 15, 2018
Since the start of the natural disaster, Florence has officially been downgraded to a tropical storm, with winds falling to 70mph. Surges and flooding will continue as the storm lashes South Carolina.
According to the National Hurricane Center, among the victims were a 78-year-old male who was electrocuted at a residence on Silver Smith Circle in Kinston this morning when he was attempting to connect two extension cords outside in the rain. His body was discovered by family members. An another 77-year-old male’s body was discovered at 8 a.m. today by his family at his residence on Middle Street in Kingston. It is believed that he died when he was blown down by the wind as he went outside to check on his hunting dogs.
Two people in Wilmington were also killed after a tree fell on their house, the city's police department said.
"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington. A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house," police tweeted Friday afternoon. "The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries."
At least five people including a mother and her infant died in North Carolina during the first day of the Tropical Storm Florence, officials said Friday.
In Hampstead town on Friday morning, emergency responders on their way to a call about a cardiac arrest found their path blocked by downed trees. When they got to the home, the woman was already deceased, Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.
The fourth person to die was a man in Lenoir County who was hooking up a generator, Gov. Roy Cooper's office said.
Florence was inching along Friday night, trapping people in flooded homes and promising days of destruction and suffering.
One of the rescuers in New Bern was Jason Weinmann, a retired Marine who used his military troop transport vehicle to pick up 10 people on one run and took them to a shelter. Jennifer Morales, 20, said there was 3 feet of water in her home.
"It was pretty bad. We didn't know where to go," she said.
Another woman who was rescued by another group in New Bern told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360˚" that she and her family thought they would be safe in their brick home and heard the storm had been downgraded from a Category 4.
"About 11:30, 12 (midnight), the water came into the house. It came in slowly but then it just steady, just kept rising," Annazette Riley-Cromartie said.
She, her husband and their three children went up into the attic for a while, but hearing the winds howling, the family descended to an upper floor bedroom.
As they waited for emergency workers, they heard neighbors calling for help.
Crews from several other states arrived to help with the disaster.
RIGHT NOW: New York City's Urban Search and Rescue team is in River Bend, North Carolina helping the Rhems Volunteer Fire Department evacuate and rescue people during Hurricane Florence. pic.twitter.com/dMPq8l52oA— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) September 14, 2018
According to the latest information, more than 620 thousand have been left without electricity in North and South Carolina.
About 26 thousand residents were evacuated to 200 shelters across the Carolinas.
More than 60 people were taken out of a hotel in Jacksonville (North Carolina) after part of the roof collapsed.
Four thousand national guard soldiers and 40 thousands specialists were mobilized to restore electricity.
At least 1,100 flights around the East coast were canceled on Friday and Saturday.