Hurricane Florence is hitting the southeastern United States at a very slow pace, remaining for days, and leaving a devastating amount of wind and water damage in its wake.
It was a category one hurricane when it hit land near Wilmington, North Carolina early Friday, but the early wind damage was not as bad as had feared, and it was downgraded to a tropical storm hours later. However, on Saturday the National Hurricane Center reported that it was traveling at two miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of up to 50 miles per hour.
It traveled west across South Carolina on Saturday and it is expected to turn north later today. Its slow pace is leaving much worse than usual damage in its wake. North Carolina has recorded record rainfall, as more than 30 inches of rain was recorded in Swansboro, N.C. The previous record of 29 inches was recorded in 1999 during Hurricane Floyd.
Twelve people have been reported to have died, so far, due to the storm. A mother and child who were killed after a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. Also, three people in Duplin County, North Carolina died because of flash flooding, and two people died in a house fire in Cumberland County, North Carolina. In addition, a 61-year old woman named Amber Dawn Lee died in Union County, South Carolina, when her vehicle hit a tree in the road. Four more people have been reported dead, but have not yet been identified.
Local, state, and federal officials, alongside volunteers, are rescuing people who have not evacuated from half-submerged homes. Many of the volunteers are part of a group informally known as the Cajun Navy, a group of private boat owners who formed to help during disasters near Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina and have remained active to help in other natural disasters.
Yesterday afternoon, at a point when the death toll was reported to be lower, President Trump offered his sympathies for the families and friends of the victims on Twitter.
Five deaths have been recorded thus far with regard to hurricane Florence! Deepest sympathies and warmth go out to the families and friends of the victims. May God be with them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2018
The satellite image in the header above was taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.