New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Durham Herald-Sun around 5am that about 200 people had been rescued so far.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for. Collins said they had to use a front loader to clear the roads, but a tree smashed through its windshield, according to The Associated Press. Hurricane-force winds were extending out up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 195 miles, the center said.
Over 645,000 power outages were reported Friday morning.
More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.
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. Also, 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, and the governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain. He said the gust was the strongest recorded in Wilmington since 1958. Areas like New Bern also could see an additional 3 to 5 feet of storm surge as high tide combines with the seawater still being pushed ashore by Florence, Graham said.
"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".
At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.
Pam Knox: Georgians should be on lookout for Florence
Governors in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia have issued mandatory evacuations and lane reversals . Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.
It's hard to believe while looking at these images, but this isn't even the biggest storm devastating the planet right now.
People are rescued by members of the US Army during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, US.
At least five people, including a mother and her infant, have died in North Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence slowly moved from the Tar Heel State into SC, officials said Friday.
Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.
"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said.
Mother, infant, among several killed by Hurricane Florence
After creeping inland, Florence is expected to head west before looping up toward Tennessee and Kentucky early next week. Our main worry is water and flooding. "WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington".
Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next. Atlantic Beach, located on the state´s Outer Banks barrier islands, had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the US Geological Survey said.
But it's not only North Carolinians who live along the coast who are being impacted by severe flooding.
At least 150 people were waiting to be rescued in New Bern, N.C., officials tweeted Thursday evening. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".
Courageous volunteers are seen defying the danger and continuing to rescue residents and their pets.
Zaytoun said he didn't leave his home because he knew he wouldn't have been able to get back to it once the flooding began.
"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.
"I've been through hurricanes before", he says.
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