There have been two fatalities in Kinston as a result of HurricaneFlorence, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.
Later downgraded to a tropical storm, slow-moving Florence arrived over North and SC just after 7am local time on Friday, bringing torrential rain and severe floods.
The biggest danger, as forecasters saw it, was not the wind but the water: the storm surge along the coastline and the prospect of 1 to 3½ feet of rain over the next several days that could trigger catastrophic flooding in a slow-motion disaster well inland. The child's father was taken to a hospital.
"More people die from storm surge than any proponent of hurricanes", Kottlowsk tells TIME. NEW BERN OVERWHELMEDIn New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge "overwhelmed" the town, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, Cooper said. Hundreds more had to be rescued elsewhere from rising waters.
On Friday afternoon, the city of Wilmington enacted a curfew from 10 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday, Mayor Bill Saffo said.
It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days.
Earlier Friday, most Midlands counties were placed under a storm watch or warning, including Richland and Lexington counties - which were issued a tropical storm warning. "Into next week our rivers are going to continue to rise and there will be more significant flooding", Cooper said.
Tropical Storm Florence keeps drenching the central Carolinas, with an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain expected before it finally swings north over the Appalachian Mountains and into the Ohio Valley on Monday.
According to poweroutage.us, more than 500,000 customers in North Carolina and 50,000 in SC were without power on Friday morning, though the Weather Channel estimatesup to 3 million customers could lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence. Downed trees blocked the road, making it impossible for paramedics to get to her. Though forecasters later downgraded Florence to a tropical storm, the monster system is barely moving over the Carolinas and could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet (1 meter).
"I'm anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said. Power outages are widespread including over 740,000 in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2:30 a.m.
Mr Hanks said a fourth person died while checking on his hunting dogs, and authorities believe he was blown over by the wind.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster asked people to remain patient during a last-minute news conference before Hurricane Florence begins to impact the state.
North Carolina emergency management officials said more than 600,000 customers in North Carolina were without power.
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By evening, the storm was centered about 1,170 miles (1,880 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina , the NHC said. Forecasts call for 25-38 cm of rain in the hardest-hit areas, possibly more if the storm stalls over land, as expected .
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As of noon EDT, Florence was centered about 575 miles (925 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 13 mph (20 kph). Hurricane Isaac - which late Sunday became the fifth hurricane of the season - is heading west towards the Caribbean.
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Isaac’s Rain Drenching Lesser Antilles
While now classified as a hurricane, Helene will be downgraded to a storm by the time it reaches the shores of Northern Ireland. Isaac caused some flooding earlier in Dominica and is forecast to gradually weaken over the next few days.
Congressman Grijalva Upset Over Trump's Hurricane Maria Remarks
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Hurricane Florence Makes Its Way Toward North Carolina
Rainfall will accumulate near 2 feet in North Carolina. "We're going to stay tight and check on everybody", he said. Leaders of the states in the path of the storm have warned people all week to evacuate the most susceptible areas.