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First deaths reported from Hurricane Florence after Wilmington home collapses

First deaths reported from Hurricane Florence after Wilmington home collapses

In the besieged North Carolina town of New Bern, rescuers plucked more than 100 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait when conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), but a gust of 112 miles per hour (180 kph) was reported just offshore. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers). The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way.

Florence, which is now a slow-moving Category 2 storm, is expected to linger over the Carolinas before turning north and sliding into western Virginia.

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.

The eyewall was onshore at the North Carolina coast as of 6am AST (11am BST), with landfall having now occurred.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane centre said.

A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the USA for the first time. It also led many people to mock the reporter for his demeanor reporting on the storm.

"These are folks who chose to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said.

Roy Cooper warned residents to not let their guard down ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall later this week.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence began battering the coast of North and South Carolina Thursday with strong winds and rain.

Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to".

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".

In Wilmington, near where the eye of the hurricane touched down, trees and power lines were down and many windows had been broken. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

A fourth person reportedly was killed while plugging in a generator in the state's Lenoir County, according to U.S. media.

More than 700,000 people were left without power and millions more were warned by the governor of North Carolina that they were facing "an extremely unsafe situation".

"It's important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted", the network said in a statement responding to the now viral clip, according to The Hill.

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

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