Tropical storm Florence, which made landfall near Wrightsville Beach in the state of North Carolina in the United States on Friday, has killed at least 11 people so far, including a child. Of the 11 deceased, 10 people were killed in North Carolina and one in the South.
By Saturday, Florence had caused 30 inches of rain, more than the record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, The Washington Post reported. The storm may bring 15 more inches of rain, forecasters say. Officials have already issued compulsory evacuation orders, some as far as over 100 miles (161 kilometres) away from Wrighstville Beach.
“We face walls of water – at our coast, along our rivers, across farmland, in our cities and in our towns,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a press briefing on Saturday. “More people now face imminent threat than when the storm was just offshore. I cannot overstate it. Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren’t watching for them, you are risking your life.”
Meanwhile, around 7,96,000 people are without electricity in North and South Carolina, CNN reported. Of these, 7,60,000 are in North Carolina. Several people are trapped in flooded homes, with local emergency professions and citizen swift-water rescue teams joining hands to rescue them.
By 5 pm local time on Saturday, Florence’s centre was 60 miles (96 kilometres) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The storm is moving west at a speed of 2 miles (3.2 km) per hour. The maximum sustained wind speed is 45 miles (72 km) per hour.
The police in Wilmington, a port city in North Carolina, arrested five people for allegedly looting a Dollar General Store. Another was held for allegedly ransacking a gas station and convenience store.