Hurricane Florence kills five in North Carolina, leaves nearly one million without power


Hurricane Florence kills five in North Carolina, leaves nearly one million without power

Matthew Taylor

15 September 2018

Hurricane Florence continues to churn over North Carolina after making landfall Friday morning. As the storm slowly moved inland, it brought widespread flooding and power outages throughout the region. With an additional 15-20 inches of rain expected in the next day, the lives of untold thousands are at risk.

Across the Carolinas, millions were unable to evacuate and have been left facing the perils of floodwaters, destructive winds and power outages, as overwhelmed first responders struggled to keep pace with the powerful storm. The storm’s impact has been compounded by the fact that it is impacting one of the country’s poorest regions.

Once again, a natural disaster has exposed the totally inadequate state of public infrastructure in the United States. One year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, killing more than 3,000 people, and Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston, no substantial preparations for mass evacuations or improvements to the country’s infrastructure have been made.

Flooding in New Bern, North Carolina [photo credit: Twitter user @cityofNewBern]

The storm claimed at least five fatalities in North Carolina on Friday. A fallen tree killed a woman and her child inside their home in Wilmington. The child’s father was injured and has been hospitalized. Another resident died after she suffered a heart attack and emergency crews were unable to reach her in time. A fourth man died after being electrocuted while plugging in a generator, and fifth was found dead after going outside to check on his dogs. The last time a major hurricane hit the state, Hurricane Matthew in 2016, there were 26 official fatalities.

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