As Florence moves west, North Carolina prepares for recovery

WATCH: Weather Channel Reporter Caught Allegedly Dramatizing Hurricane Winds, Gets Slammed Online

North Carolina officials said there had been at least seven storm-related fatalities in the state, with unconfirmed reports of a further three deaths.

"Were expecting additional rainfall across southeastern central into southern North Carolina and across Northern parts of SC where additional rainfall amounts that could exceed 10 inches".

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel.

A speed boat sits wedged in bushes in the parking lot of a waterfront hotel in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018.

Florence flattened trees, buckled buildings and crumpled roads.

Mother Lesha Murphy-Johnson and her baby, Zac, were killed after being trapped inside their home in Wilmington when a tree fell onto the roof at around 9.30am on Friday.

A 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said.

Water levels along the North and SC coasts are gradually receding as of Saturday night, the National Hurricane Center said.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute.

Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm with diminished winds, but it has stalled over the Wilmington region as predicted and will continue drenching the area with historic and catastrophic rain, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 a.m. briefing. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper said: "Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood". Significant weakening was expected over the weekend. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

Forecasters say the center of the eye of Florence has made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.

NASA footage shows the 'nightmare' Hurricane Florence
Cameras outside the International Space Station captured dramatic views of rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence at 8:10 a.m. "Watch out, America!" ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, now aboard the ISS, tweeted .

FEMA Chief Brock Long: Florence Performing 'Exactly as Predicted'
His office will play an integral role in the government's response to Hurricane Florence , which is now affecting the Carolinas . Long reportedly began having a government driver take him home since he took control of FEMA a year ago .

Carolina coast battening down, boarding up as hurricane nears
It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina. Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.

Two fins were spotted in the high water in Wilmington.

Tropical Storm Florence yesterday trudged inland, flooding rivers and towns, toppling trees and cutting power to almost a million homes and businesses as it dumped huge amounts of rain on North and SC, causing five deaths.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Florence now huge, slow-moving tropical storm.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

Evacuation orders have been lifted in several coastal SC counties as Florence continues to dump rain on the state. That's enough water to fill the Chesapeake Bay or to cover the state of Texas in 4 inches.

More than 22,600 people were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters A downed tree rests on a house during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of Wilson, North Carolina. Record flooding is expected Tuesday on the Cape Fear at a crest of 62 feet there.

"We just don't want people to think this is over because it's not". "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU". Storm surges, flash floods and winds scattered destruction widely and the Marines, the Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to conduct rescues Saturday.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..."

Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house.

At the W. H. Weatherspoon Power Station near Lumberton, Sheehan said it had already rained more than 30 inches (75 centimeters) by Saturday evening, causing a nearby swamp to overflow into the plants cooling pond.

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