Florence kills 5, including infant, in North Carolina, officials say

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Police in Wilmington say a mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their house.

Those who didn't flee the deadly storm were seeking shelter in attics or the upper floors of homes after the hurricane marched ashore earlier in North Carolina.

It comes amid otherwise serious warnings for residents in North and SC as Hurricane Florence, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday, continues to put properties and lives at risk.

National Weather Service Though Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a category 2 hurricane, it's still caused storm surges up to 10 feet in some areas, with the worst of the flooding still expected to come. The child's injured father was taken to a hospital.

Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins confirmed to WWAY that a woman was killed in Hempstead, Pender County after suffering a heart attack in her home.

NWSCharleston is now under a storm surge warning, per the NWS. Hundreds of miles inland, Charlotte Douglas International Airport already has more than 300 flight cancellations for Thursday and Friday, according to FlightAware.

New Bern resident Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch.

"To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place", he said at a news conference in Raleigh, adding that Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 3 metres, he said.

Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next.

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Baker said the rain will bring damaging flash flooding to all areas of the Wilmington region, not just low-lying areas that are particularly vulnerable.

Reports out of Wilmington, North Carolina, said that the outer bands of wind and rain from Florence, a Category 2 storm with 105 miles per hour winds, are hitting North Carolina.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", Ballance said.

Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach about 7:15 a.m. Friday as a Category 1 hurricane (74-95 mph).

But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.

The storm's arrival brought a 105 miles per hour wind gust at the NWS office about 7 a.m. Friday, said meteorologist Jordan Baker.

Storm surges could reach 11 feet Saturday along coastal areas, particularly between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras.

There were still north of 900,000 people without power in SC and North Carolina combined early Saturday.

Warning the 10 million residents of America's Southeastern coast about Hurricane Florence, US President Donald Trump has said, "Don't play games with it".

The NHC said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rain could trigger landslides in the west of his state.

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