Residents of the Carolinas have been bracing for Tropical Storm Florence, which was predicted to bring heavy flooding and dangerous weather to the region.
Some families chose to evacuate the area entirely, while others chose to floodproof their house, purchase extra supplies and avoid the roads by staying home.
Sadly, it’s impossible to predict exactly who or what will be in the storm’s path. Two people, a mother and her infant, perished on Sept. 14 after a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The deaths are believed to be the first two fatalities of Florence, once a Category 2 storm, now downgraded to a tropical storm according to CBS News.
KSAZ-TV reported that a family was inside the home on Mercer Avenue when a massive tree fell on top of the house. The mother and her infant were killed and the father was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
WPD is on the scene of an incident involving a tree that fell on a house on Mercer Avenue. People are believed to be inside. We have no update on the status of their conditions at this time. We will release details as they become available.
— Wilmington Police (@WilmingtonPD) September 14, 2018
Names of the victims have not yet been released.
News footage showed an overwhelming response of compassion and concern from members of the Wilmington Fire Department who were at the scene.
In an emotional moment, firefighters were shown huddled together, praying for the family.
The Carolinas are expected to bear the brunt of most of the flash flooding and danger of Florence.
On Sept. 14, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper pleaded with residents to take the storm seriously, even though it has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm.
“Please hear my message,” Cooper said, according to CBS News. “We cannot underestimate this storm.”
“Don’t relax, don’t get complacent. Stay on guard,” Cooper said. “This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes a reality.”
At least one other fatality has been linked to the hurricane. According to KSAZ, one person was killed in Lenoir County, North Carolina, while plugging in a generator.
Americans are hoping and praying for the best for all lives affected by the storm.
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