Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina

In this satellite image Hurricane Florence churns through the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast

Governor Roy Cooper's office said he died while plugging in a generator.

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.

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

The enormous storm crept at a 6 miles per hour pace, making it clear that the trouble was just beginning. Hundreds more had to be rescued elsewhere from rising waters. The core was also about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.

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. By late afternoon, Beaufort County Manager Brian Alligood hoped the worst was over. "It's something we haven't seen. ever".

Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were inundated.

Airlines have extended waivers and advisories for travelers with itineraries involving airports in the predicted path of the storm.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence is expected to be re-categorised as a tropical depression by the time it moves into the mid-Atlantic states and New England in the middle of next week.

As it stands, Florence is now a Category two hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 177 km/h.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

Onslow County spokesman Cornelius Jordan said some visitors at the Triangle Motor Inn were able to drive away on their own, but emergency personnel had to take others to a safe location.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as merely a Category 1 hurricane with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

Power outages increased throughout Friday.

Hurricane Florence still a threat despite downgrade
Officials in the potential path of Florence urged people to evacuate their coastal homes and directed drivers away from the coast. Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.

The US National Weather Service has released a flash flood warning as authorities were scrambling to reach almost 150 people now stranded.

Officials say residents should wait until the storm completely passes before getting rid of perishable supplies because there is still the possibility of flooding in some areas of the Historic Triangle. "We know our customers share our commitment to the communities we serve, and together, we will continue to support the American Red Cross' disaster recovery efforts". Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

Forecasters are anticipating landslides near the Appalachians and near-record river flooding.

He said flooding will continue for days and the full magnitude of the hurricane is unknown.

Emergency crews were stretched thin.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats. Those roads included Interstate 40 in Duplin County; N.C. 12 in Dare, Hyde and Carteret counties; N.C. 130 in Brunswick County; N.C. 55 in Craven and Pamlico counties; N.C. 58 in Carteret and Jones counties; and N.C. 904 in Brunswick County.

To prepare for this storm, businesses have been boarding up, and supplies have been readied for what is expected to be a large-scale relief operation. One forecast said it was a once in a thousand year flood event.

He said 20,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now". Some of those who stayed went to shelters while others stuck it out in their homes.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighborhoods. Additional swiftwater rescue teams were on the way. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter.

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