5 dead in Hurricane Florence, including mom and infant

Russ Lewis covers his eyes from a gust of wind and a blast of sand as Hurricane Florence approaches Myrtle Beach South Carolina early Friday

The death toll attributed to Florence stands at 11, including 10 in North Carolina and one in SC. A gust of 170kph was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

A fallen tree crashed through the home where a woman and her baby were killed in Wilmington North Carolina after Hurricane Florence made landfall. "The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries".

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said North Carolina is likely to see eight months of rain in two to three days.

The 11 p.m. ET National Hurricane Center update warned of "catastrophic freshwater flooding" in parts of North and SC, and of continuing life-threatening storm surges and strong winds overnight as Florence moves slowly west-southwestward over extreme eastern SC.

It added the greatest threats to life came from storm-surges while "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding" was expected, with some areas receiving up to 40 inches of rainfall. As of 8 a.m. on Saturday the system was located about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and was about 45 miles south-southeast of Florence, S.C.

About 20,000 people in North Carolina sought refuge in more than 150 shelters in the hours leading up to Florence making landfall, officials said.

She estimated 441,000 people have already evacuated because of the storm.

As of 1 p.m. EDT, Florence is weakening as it moves farther inland over southeastern North Carolina.

The storm is nearly at a standstill over southeastern North Carolina.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to more than 700,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere near an end.

Parker says water levels in some areas of Craven County are already higher than levels from Hurricane Irene.

"Our hearts go out to the family of these victims".

Though Florence did not arrive with winds as violent as once feared, forecasters got the storm surge and rainfall correct.

City officials sent out an dramatic tweet about 2am Friday as rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop, and people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose.

-A 61-year-old woman was killed late Friday when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree near the town of Union, South Carolina, Capt. Kelley Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said.

Tropical Storm Isaac became Tropical Depression Isaac Friday morning.

"Pretty soon I had a hundred of my closest friends out here helping us out", Britt said.

After a night of torrential rain, devastating wind and unsafe storm surges, the damage that Florence, now a tropical storm, brought to the Carolina coast is only now starting to fully reveal itself.

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