Forecasters have warned of storm surges on coasts, savage gale-force winds and "catastrophic" flooding from torrential rain as Florence churns over North and SC today and over the weekend.
Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.
"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington".
The victims were trapped inside their home in Wilmington, North Carolina, when the large tree collapsed at around 9.30am local time, around two hours after Florence made landfall in the port city.
The Wilmington Police Department said Friday that the father was transported to a hospital for treatment.
"You need to stay home", said Tom Collins, Pender County's director of emergency management, adding, "If you get out there, you're stuck because there's no emergency services running right now".
Three people died in Duplin County, N.C. on Saturday after the remnants of Florence caused flooding across the area.
By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 mph, just barely a hurricane, but the storm itself had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, punishing coastal communities for hours on end. More than 1 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders, with more than 10 million people under storm watches or warnings. That number was down to 40 later in the day.
Since 1950, the center of 24 tropical systems (tropical storms and hurricanes combined) have either directly hit Wilmington, North Carolina have come within 25 miles of Wilmington. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.
The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.
A downed tree blocks a street in Wilmington after being uprooted by Florence's strong winds. Hurricane-force winds and inland flooding also is a concern. Expert scientists, however, had said they were anxious about Brunswick because of scant public information about its readiness.
One of the rescuers in New Bern was Jason Weinmann, a retired Marine who has a military troop transport vehicle he bought at a government auction.
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One person died at the West Brunswick High School shelter Thursday morning, according to a spokesperson for Brunswick County.
"It was pretty bad". The Carteret Country Sheriff's Office confirmed that two deaths initially reported as a result of Florence in North Carolina were a result of an apparent murder-suicide.
"The water kept rising and kept rising", he said.
"Our hearts go out to the family of these victims".
Her husband went to see if he could assist them but the water was chest high, she said.
She estimated 441,000 people have already evacuated because of the storm.
Fatal hazards: historically, 49% of U.S. hurricane deaths come from storm surge, 27% from rain, 8% from wind, 6% from surf, 6% were offshore and 3% from tornadoes. She died Friday morning.
She succeeded - staying awake all night, retying broken dock lines in howling winds.
"I don't care if it was $250 million; it's not about that", he said.
The storm is expected to track across SC over the weekend.
By Friday morning, the shore was flooded, and buildings were damaged, in video she put up on Facebook.
A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.