Mother, infant, among several killed by Hurricane Florence

Don't play games with it, says Trump as Hurricane Florence heads for US East Coast

He said there had been three confirmed deaths from the storm and several others were being investigated to determine if they were storm-related.

Police in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Friday afternoon said that a woman and an infant were killed in that city when a tree fell on their home. The father was hospitalized with injuries.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.

According to authorities, one person was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator.

The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rain on North and SC, as much as one metre in some places. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".

Florence's winds had dropped from a peak of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) to 105 miles per hour (165 kph) by midmorning, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

"We're deeply concerned for whole communities which could be wiped away".

More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing cinderblock motel.

He said: 'If you're going to leave - and you should leave - if you haven't left yet, you should leave now.

NWSCharleston is now under a storm surge warning, per the NWS. About 20,000 people sought sanctuary in 157 shelters.

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Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life. According to radar images as of 7 a.m., the storm's eye was drawing near the New Hanover-Pender County line.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights as it zeroes in on the Southeastern coast.

Florence's top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) as its outer rain bands approached the North Carolina coast early Thursday, reducing the storm from Category 4 to Category 2, but forecasters warned that the enormous wind field has been growing larger, raising the risk of the ocean surging on to land.

Besides federal and state emergency crews, they were being helped by volunteers from the so-called "Cajun Navy" who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues. More trees will come down, more power lines will fall, and the number of power outages will go up, said Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center.

On Market Street near New Hanover High School, an old tree had fallen and blocked the westbound lanes entirely near 15th Street. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000".

North Carolina emergency management officials said more than 600,000 customers in North Carolina were without power.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from its center.

A tornado watch was issued for eastern North Carolina.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said. "I wonder how it would have been with a Category 4 or 5". "But there are a lot of big trees around so we preferred to spend the night at a friends to be sure".

Other cities and counties were also facing intense rains and wind, which Cooper said would create challenges "over the next few days and weeks".

It's unclear exactly how many people evacuated, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

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