Mother and Infant Among First Reported Fatalities as Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall

Paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

More than 300 volunteers from nine U.S. states have joined the relief effort in North Carolina, according to ABC News.

Though Florence's shrieking winds diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, forecasters said the sheer size of the 350-mile-wide storm and its painfully slow progress across North and SC in the coming days could leave much of the region under water. Officials did not know his condition as of 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Florence is forecast to "drop nearly double" the volume of rain over the state compared to Floyd, tweeted Ryan Maue, meteorologist for weathermodels.com.

"For overall damage it will be hard at the end of the day, I think, to find a rival for this storm", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. But the water kept rising. This amount would be a state a record for a tropical storm or hurricane if verified.

Atlantic Beach's historic pier was washed away.

As Florence first broke on land yesterday 90mph winds struck the coastal areas, but as the storm system moved across land it was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm.

The Cape Fear River in Fayetteville, N.C.is forecast to rise an astonishing 45 feet by Tuesday.

North Carolina utilities estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.

Storm surge was as high as 10 feet on the Neuse River, he said.

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Power outages in North Carolina have increased as a weakened and slower Hurricane Florence moves closer to the coast. A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

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"Seeing them get out of the auto and seeing their emotions was heartbreaking", he said.

Sidney Este, whose 71-year-old mother was still inside his house, said: "I'm mostly concerned about the house getting hotter and hotter". "It's been occurring all night".

Just a few minutes before the now-Category 1 storm made landfall, cameras on board the International Space Station managed to catch the mesmerising footage below. As the storm stalled, forecasters warned "torrential rains will come:" an additional 20 to 25 inches in eastern North Carolina and up to 15 inches inland. The storm is moving slowly - only about half the speed of a brisk walk.

The National Hurricane Center says the high winds - combined with rain-soaked soil - will cause many trees to fall in coming days, crashing into homes, streets and onto power lines. "If the number seems really insane high, you always have to have some suspicion until we can actually get out and verify it". Numerous evacuees took their pets.

More than 1.7 million people evacuated this week, leaving behind homes, schools and precious belongings.

In Wilmington, numerous trees that contributed to its historic beauty are now gone. She retreated and was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited assistance. He urged residents to stay inside and not get in the way of emergency workers. Craven County officials said they responded to 200 calls for help.

The total extent of devastation from Florence, which has turned from a hurricane into a tropical storm, remains unknown as rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in the Carolinas.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, however, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

"In about four days when all the water comes down from North Carolina, that's when we're going to have a problem".

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