Hurricane Florence has finally hit North Carolina and, sadly, it has already taken the lives of two unsuspecting victims.
The Wilmington Police Department confirmed on Twitter that a mother and her infant child were killed after a tree fell onto their house around 9:30 a.m. on Friday, September 14. The residence in question was located on Mercer Avenue in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Officials are saying that these are the first two confirmed deaths resulting from the horrendous storm.
The baby’s father was also trapped inside the house after the tree crashed into it. He was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be treated for injuries. His condition was not known at press time.
During a press conference following the incident, Wilmington Fire Department Chief Jon Mason said that it was a very difficult rescue because of the size of the tree, reported 13 News Now. Firefighters had to use heavy lifting, air bags, and saws to remove the tree from the crushed home.
The fallen tree could have weighed as much as 30,000 pounds.
According to CNN, the Category 1 hurricane is causing mass destruction, severe flooding, and “human suffering” in North Carolina.
Florence will likely stay in the state throughout the weekend, “pounding some of the same areas over and over,” and delivering up to 40 inches of rain as well as wind gusts as high as 105 miles per hour.
“This isn’t a storm that is just going to wrap up, go away, and that’s going to be it,” said Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brian Monahan. “We’re going to be talking about days of rain.”
CNN reported that by Friday morning more than 620,000 residents of both North and South Carolina were without power, with 26,000 people currently staying in the more than 200 emergency shelters set up in response to the storm. Over 1,100 flights along the East Coast have been canceled for Friday and Saturday.
Earlier today, the Inquisitr reported on the coastal town of New Bern, North Carolina, where more than 150 residents were trapped after Hurricane Florence hit their city. Flooding forced many local residents to seek shelter in their attics.
Two major companies have already vowed to help those affected by the storm, noted the Inquisitr. Budweiser and Coors will be sending about 500,000 cans of water to distributors, shelters, and the American Red Cross in the most heavily affected areas to disperse to those in need.
“We hope this water donation provides some relief and comfort to residents and first responders in Hurricane Florence’s path,” said Karina Diehl, MillerCoors senior director for national community affairs.