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    Reports: 5 killed as Florence inundates the Carolinas with life-threatening flooding; Over 700,000 without power

    By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
    September 14, 2018, 6:41:54 PM EDT

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    After lingering just offshore from Wilmington, North Carolina, through Thursday night, Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach early Friday morning. The storm will continue to producing devastating storm surge, wind gusts, tornadoes and flash flooding conditions throughout eastern North Carolina.

    As Florence continues to meander along the shoreline on Friday, the storm is expected to inflict further damage over the region.

    Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up-to-date with Florence’s expected track and impacts to the eastern coast of the United States.

    (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    A sailboat is shoved up against a house and a collapsed garage Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, after heavy wind and rain from Florence blew through New Bern, North Carolina.

    (Twitter photo/@astro_ricky)

    Astronaut Ricky Arnold captured the view from space as Florence made landfall on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AccuWeather Photo/Jonathan Petramala)

    AccuWeather Weather News Reporter Jonathan Petramala captures the lower level of a parking structure in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "Despite this, the city has fared #Florence well," he tweeted on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

    (Twitter Photo/@HSVUtilities)

    As of Saturday morning, Sept. 15, 2018, 1 million people in the Carolinas were without power. Florence made repair efforts tricky on Friday.

    (Twitter Photo/@HSVUtilities)

    As of Saturday morning, Sept. 15, 2018, 1 million people in the Carolinas were without power. Florence made repair efforts tricky on Friday.

    (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

    The mast of a sunken boat sits at a dock at the Grand View Marina in New Bern, North Carolina, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Winds and rains from Hurricane Florence caused the Neuse River to swell, swamping the coastal city.

    (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

    A man crosses a flooded street in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

    People survey the damage caused by Hurricane Florence on Front Street in downtown New Bern, North Carolina, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

    Ethan Hall, right, Michael Jenkins, center, and Nash Fralick, left, examine damage to Tidewater Brewing Co. in Wilmington, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

    A fallen tree is shown after it crashed through the home where a woman and her baby were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

    People drive an ATV through floodwaters on the riverwalk in Wilmington, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (Image/Rebecca Wells Hooper)

    Extreme storm surge in Outer Banks, North Carolina, during Hurricane Florence.

    (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

    A tree uprooted by strong winds lies across a street in Wilmington, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

    Debris from Hurricane Florence covers a street in downtown New Bern, North Carolina, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (Image via Christa Gabrielle)

    A tree twisted and avoided causing more damage to a house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

    (Image via Shane Cannon)

    Extreme flooding in Chocowinity, North Carolina, at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 14, 2018.

    (Image via Shane Cannon)

    Flooding in Chocowinity, North Carolina, at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 14, 2018.

    (Image via Shane Cannon)

    Flooding at Extreme Action Park on Whichards Beach Rd. in Chocowinity, North Carolina, at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

    Kevin Knox loads his cat, Sasha, into a boat that came to rescue his family from its flooded neighborhood as a result of Florence, now a tropical storm, in New Bern, North Carolina, on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

    (Twitter photo/@DukeEnergy)

    Duke Energy said on Saturday, Sept.15, that it could take weeks before power is restored to some of the hardest-hit areas in the Carolinas.

    (Twitter photo/@CityofNewBern)

    New Bern, North Carolina, a coastal town, has been completely overtaken by flooding from Florence, as seen in this Sept. 15 photo.

    (Twitter photo/@CityofNewBern)

    Flooding inundated the coastal town of New Bern, North Carolina, after Florence moved through the region, as seen in this Sept. 15 photo.

    (Twitter photo/@CityofNewBern)

    Known for whimsical statues throughout the town, New Bern, North Carolina, was hit hard by Florence, uprooting some of them and carrying them through floodwaters.

    (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

    Members of a swift water rescue team check a submerged vehicle stranded by floodwaters caused by Tropical Storm Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    A tour boat is stacked up next to a railroad bridge as a result from Florence in New Bern, North Carolina, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

    (Twitter photo/@Sheriff_EWright)

    Cumberland County, North Carolina, Sheriff Ennis Wright captured this image of the Cape Fear River on Sept. 15 as it continues to rise. It is expected to crest early next week.

    (Image via Ea Ruth)

    Flooding in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, during Hurricane Florence.

    (Image via Ea Ruth)

    Streets turned into rivers in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

    (Image via Ea Ruth)

    A beach neighborhood flooded in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

    (Image via Ea Ruth)

    Water almost reaching houses in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

    (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Members of the Nebraska Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team helps load an elderly resident onto a bus as they evacuate an assisted living facility to a church as a precaution against potential flooding the city could see from Florence in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

    (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Members of the North Carolina National Guard load up after stacking sand bags under a highway overpass near the Lumber River, which is expected to flood from Hurricane Florence's rain in Lumberton, North Carolina, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Tom Copeland)

    A member of the U.S. Coast Guard walks down Mill Creek Road checking houses after Florence hit Newport, North Carolina, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

    (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Chicken farm buildings are inundated with floodwater from Hurricane Florence near Trenton, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Hog farm buildings are inundated with floodwater from Hurricane Florence near Trenton, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.


    Hundreds of thousands have lost power across North and South Carolina since Florence first began impacting the Carolinas on Thursday.

    "Significant wind damage will lead to utility outages that may last several weeks, especially along the immediate coastline," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde warned.

    Storm surge exceeded 10 feet in New Bern, North Carolina, on Thursday night, sending first responders out into the storm as many people were forced to their top floors and roofs. Similar flood conditions threaten coastal communities up and down the North Carolina coast.

    Flo gif 9.16 AM


    Rainfall totals have already exceeded a foot at several locations, and the rain is not expected to let up any time soon.

    "Florence has slowed to a crawl as expected, and this will only exacerbate the flooding situation for the Carolinas from now through Sunday,” Rinde said.

    Early next week, Florence will bring a threat of heavy rainfall and flooding farther north up the spine of the Appalachians and perhaps into the eastern Ohio Valley."

    correspondents

    AccuWeather correspondents are live in the Carolinas bringing you coverage on our free app, AccuWeather.com, and the AccuWeather Network.


    RELATED:
    Florence’s excessive rainfall to trigger natural disaster in the Carolinas
    North Carolina Interactive Radar
    How 'Waffle House Index' plays a key role in FEMA hurricane response; 69 percent of Bojangles' are in Florence's path
    Florence to lash Carolinas with coastal battering, hammering winds and inland flooding through weekend


    5:30 p.m. EDT Friday:

    According to reports, a fifth person was killed after he was blown down by the wind while going outside to check on his hunting dogs.


    4:40 p.m. EDT Friday:

    Florence has weakened slightly and is now a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. However, it will continue to bring life-threatening flooding to the Carolinas into the weekend.

    President Donald Trump plans to visit areas affected by Florence next week once his travel will not disrupt any recovery efforts.

    “More than 3,800 Federal Employees, including more than 1,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are working with State and local partners to respond to Florence,” the White House said on its website.



    3:45 p.m. EDT Friday:

    The number of fatalities linked to Florence has risen to four.

    One man died in North Carolina when plugging in a generator. A woman having a heart attack also died with paramedics unable to reach the woman in time due to trees and debris blocking the road.



    3 p.m. EDT Friday:

    Two fatalities have been confirmed by Wilmington Police after a tree fell on a house amid strong winds from Florence. Another person was injured and transported to a local hospital.



    1:25 p.m. EDT Friday:

    Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where Hurricane Florence made landfall, has set a new all-time record high tide with waters move than four feet above the typical high tide levels. This breaks the previous record water level, set in 2015 from the remnants of Joaquin.



    12:20 p.m. EDT Friday:

    North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue has stopped emergency responses until storm conditions improve so that personnel can respond safely.

    Winds in Myrtle Beach are gusting past 50 mph with power outages around the city slowly rising.

    The total number of power outages across the Carolinas has climbed over 600,000. A majority of these outages are across eastern North Carolina.


    11:25 a.m. EDT Friday:

    More than 12,000 people have taken shelter at 126 shelters across North Carolina.

    "Hurricane Florence is so widespread, you will find it hard to find a North Carolina resident who has not been impacted. It has just come ashore and will be here for a long time. This is going to be a bad storm," Cooper said.

    The city of Washington, North Carolina, is reporting about 100 water rescues since 2:30 a.m. Friday.

    Rescues throughout the state are being conducted by a number of different teams, according to Mike Sprayberry, the director of North Carolina Emergency Management.

    "Swift water rescue rescuers are conducting rescue missions in counties, along with county rescue teams," Sprayberry said.

    Members of the North Carolina National Guard are also responding to calls for rescue.


    florence brewery damage

    Ethan Hall, right, Michael Jenkins, center, and Nash Fralick, left, examine damage to Tidewater Brewing Co. in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)


    Damage has been reported at the Crows Nest Marina in Atlantic Beach.


    10:33 a.m. EDT Friday:

    Here is a look at some of the highest estimated wind gusts and rainfall totals so far from Florence:

    rainfall florence

    A look at some of the highest radar-estimated rainfall totals. Some of the estimates may be unconfirmed.



    9:48 a.m. EDT Friday:

    There are over 500,000 customers without power in the Carolinas.

    The center of the eye of Hurricane Florence has been wobbling southwestward near the coast of southwestern North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.

    Four people were arrested in Brunswick County, North Carolina, Thursday night after several reported robbery attempts.

    Officials in the city of Greenville, North Carolina, say that flash flooding has begun around their region.


    8:38 a.m. EDT Friday:

    A New Hanover County Emergency Management official states that there is a structural fire related to storm damage on Bay Blossum Road in Wilmington, North Carolina. There is also a report of two large trees that have fallen on an apartment complex in Wilmington.

    AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer is helping conduct water rescues in New Bern.



    The North Carolina Department of Transportation continues to ensure that enough safety equipment is on hand as Florence batters the region.



    7:49 a.m. EDT Friday:

    Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center reports the storm's landfall occurred at 7:15 a.m.

    florence landfall

    (Photo/NOAA Satellites)


    A 105-mph wind gust was reported at Wilmington International Airport.


    6:56 a.m. EDT Friday:

    A 98-mph wind gust was reported near Bayshore, North Carolina, while a peak wind gust of 91 mph was measured at Wilmington, North Carolina, International Airport.

    AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer is on the scene in New Bern, North Carolina, reporting on the serious flooding situation that is ongoing in the town.

    City officials have said that the town's water system is currently stable and the water is safe to drink.



    5:40 a.m. EDT Friday:

    About 70 people have been evacuated from the Triangle Motor Inn in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after hurricane-force winds compromised the hotel's structural integrity, according to reports. No one was found to be injured.

    Meanwhile, in New Bern, North Carolina, more than 100 people were awaiting rescue as devastating storm surge impacted the waterfront city.


    2:26 a.m. EDT Friday:

    As of 2:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Florence is located about 35 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center of the storm.

    In Wilmington, winds have been gusting frequently to nearly 65 mph. At nearby Wrightsville Beach, AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer has witnessed power flashes.

    Winds may lessen there for a time as Florence's eye wall inches onshore. Just north of the eyewall, devastating storm surge and destructive winds will ensue.

    Flo 2am 9/14 eyewall radar

    AccuWeather Interactive radar capture of Hurricane Florence at 2:05 a.m. EDT, Sep. 14, 2018.


    "[New Bern, North Carolina] is 100 percent out of power. The city is totally out of power," Mayor Dana Outlaw said to CNN earlier this evening.

    Florence is moving to the west-northwest at only 6 mph, meaning crews may not be able to gain access to affected areas in order to restore power for several days.


    1:24 a.m. EDT Friday:

    As of 1:00 a.m. Thursday, over 164,000 customers were without power in North Carolina. Tropical-storm-force wind gusts have been recorded as far inland as Hope Mills, North Carolina - nearly 100 miles from the coast.

    A USGS gauge on the Neuse River at New Bern, North Carolina, reported 10.1 feet of inundation at 1:00 a.m.

    Portions of the southern Chesapeake Bay are reportedly entering minor flood stage due to persistent onshore wind flow from Florence. Gauges near Yorktown and Mobjack Bay, Virginia, could reach major flood stage during high tide on Friday afternoon.



    For older reports about Hurricane Florence, click here.

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