ATLANTA - Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Maximum winds are down to 65 miles per hour.
So far, at least five people in North Carolina are dead as the result of the storm.
A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington. A man was rescued from the home and taken to the hospital in critical condition. Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said the baby was about eight months old.
Officials said a woman had a heart attack in Pender County, North Carolina and emergency crews were unable to get to her.
Watch Channel 2 Action News Saturday AM for live updates.
A 78-year-old man was electrocuted at his home in Lenoir County while attempting to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, authorities confirmed to ABC News.
A 77-year-old man Lenoir County is also believed to have died after he was blown away by heavy winds while attempting to check on his hunting dogs, officials said. The man's family found his body Friday morning at his home.
Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Friday morning. The storm was downgraded just before 5 p.m.
A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for several North Carolina counties until 9 a.m. Saturday because the stor is bringing "life-threatening" storm surges and "catastrophic" flooding in the state, according to Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls.
Virginia and southeastern West Virginia could also see some flooding from the storm as well.
Metro Atlanta is expected to get less than an inch of rain this weekend while north and east Georgia could see the 1 to 2 inches, according to Walls.
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Channel 2 Action News has our experienced team of meteorologists and reporters covering all angles of the storm as it approaches. Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan is in Wilmington, N.C., Channel 2's Nicole Carr is in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Channel 2's Tony Thomas is in Savannah. Follow them to stay updated as the storm hits.
Firefighters pray during an operation to remove a tree that fell on a house, killing a mother and infant, as #Florence made landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina. https://t.co/KSqRJx12CB pic.twitter.com/w3CZdrCo8Q— ABC News (@ABC) September 15, 2018
LATEST: Tropical Storm #Florence, packing sustained winds of 70 mph, is 15 miles NNE of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and is slowly moving west at 3 mph.— ABC News (@ABC) September 15, 2018
Catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over portions of the Carolinas, per @NHC_Atlantic. https://t.co/XcfnSB6cQN pic.twitter.com/Gh1FAYWVz7
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Emergency for several counties in North Carolina.
The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United are pledging to help support the Hurricane Florence relief effort.
Help us help those in need.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 14, 2018
We battle Carolina on Sunday. But our thoughts are with the Carolinas now.
Red Cross: https://t.co/J20kKYQIc8
United Way: https://t.co/DT28xATDY6#UnitedWeRise pic.twitter.com/C6EXJYuwiW
The American Red Cross says about 2,000 disaster workers have been deployed to help with Florence relief.
Over 2,000 trained Red Cross disaster workers have deployed to ensure those affected by #HurricaneFlorence have a safe place to go. Watch as shelter residents in #NorthCarolina share how they're hunkering down with us. pic.twitter.com/ywdLvAVeW4— American Red Cross (@RedCross) September 14, 2018
Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns said Florence currently has 70 mph winds, with gusts of 85 mph.
Severe Weather Team 2's Brian Monahan just tweeted a picture of a dock that had broken apart and floated away
This dock broke apart and floated out of the intracoastal waterway in #WilmingtonNC during the last high tide — another one comes late tonight. Live report at 6 on @wsbtv. #florence #StormWatchon2 pic.twitter.com/PlorCNDAnA— Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) September 14, 2018
Severe Weather Team 2's Brad Nitz says Florence will be a weak tropical depression as it passes over parts of east Georgia over the weekend.
5pm track update brings a weak tropical depression east of Georgia this weekend.— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 14, 2018
Just a few showers and a 20-25 mph breeze locally this weekend. pic.twitter.com/8JsAhiYja3
Severe Weather Team 2 says Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm.
Channel 2's Nicole Carr gives us a look at what conditions are like in Myrtle Beach:
White House confirms President Trump has been briefed on the latest impacts from Hurricane Florence
JUST IN: @WhiteHouse releases photos of @realDonaldTrump & @VP getting briefed on Hurricane #Florence— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) September 14, 2018
Our LIVE Severe Weather Team 2 Coverage of #HurricaneFlorence2018 continues NOW on Channel 2 #StormWatchOn2 #WSBTV pic.twitter.com/vvC4VgtptB
Nearly 750,000 people without power in North Carolina:
President Trump "expected to travel to areas affected by the storm early to middle of next week."
JUST IN: President Trump "expected to travel to areas affected by the storm early to middle of next week, once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts,” @PressSec says. https://t.co/MuLxSg3Qnz pic.twitter.com/1X0mMkIsPS— ABC News (@ABC) September 14, 2018
A fourth person has died in Lenoir County, N.C. while plugging in a generator, authorities confirmed to ABC News.
Wind and rain continues to pound Wilmington, NC
Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes says hotels along I-20 are booked solid with evacuees.
Hotels along I-20 in Rockdale & Dekalb counties are booked solid with Hurricane Florence evacuees. We spoke to several families. Hear one family’s story about leaving Wilmington NC - on Ch2 at 4pm. They already know how damaged their home is pic.twitter.com/DxBustHINJ— Tyisha Fernandes (@TyishaWSB) September 14, 2018
Severe Weather Team 2 forecasts that areas of the North Carolina coast could see an additional 10-20 inches of rain.
The Wilmington Police Department has confirmed that two people are dead after a tree fell on a home in Wilmington, NC.
WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington. A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house. The father was transported to NHRMC with injuries. https://t.co/FC5PAhuxig— Wilmington Police (@WilmingtonPD) September 14, 2018
10 - 20 more inches of rain are expected in already flooded areas of North Carolina.
"I see a biblical proportion flood event that's going to occur. I see the beach communities' being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic," the Wilmington, NC police chief told ABC News."
A woman in Pender County has become the first confirmed fatality linked to Hurricane Florence.
Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins has confirmed a woman had a heart attack this morning.
Emergency crews could not get to her because of downed trees in the road.
Nearly 80,000 people in South Carolina and over 600,000 people in North Carolina are currently without power.
Firefighters pray outside a home a tree fell on in Wilmington. One man was rescued and taken to the hospital in critical condition. Two people are still trapped inside. Their conditions are unknown.
NEW: Video shows Wilmington firefighters consoling one another after responding to a tree that fell on a home in North Carolina as Hurricane Florence slammed ashore. Authorities say one person taken to hospital, further information has not been released. https://t.co/6vHVr5UPNx pic.twitter.com/CgSPVNR3NW— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) September 14, 2018
The 2 p.m. update is in. Rain is still the primary concern.
2 pm update:— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 14, 2018
Hurricane Florence has 75 mph sustained wind and may be downgraded to a tropical storm later today.
IMPORTANT: the flood threat does NOT diminish as the winds decrease.20-40" rainfall totals and extreme flooding threats remain. pic.twitter.com/WV3MiWVbx1
A truck tries to navigate flood waters in New Bern, North Carolina.
Hurricane Florence is weakening as it moves farther inland over extreme southeastern North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center says. Sustained winds are now at 75 mph.
A large tree fell on a home in Wilmington. One man was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Two other victims remain in the house. The condition of those two people is currently unknown.
Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan is starting to see surge flooding in Wilmington:
Officials in Horry County, where Myrtle Beach is, have said they are now unable to send public safety crews to respond because it is too dangerous.
Attention Horry County:— Horry County PD (@horrycountypd) September 14, 2018
Conditions have become too dangerous for public safety crews to respond. Responses will be slow or limited. You may still call 911 and operators will provide verbal assistance until we can reach you. Please only call 911 for emergencies.#HurricaneFlorence pic.twitter.com/1UQGD6emLX
Some towns along coastal North Carolina are imposing curfews.
NEWS ALERT!— Wilmington Police (@WilmingtonPD) September 14, 2018
City and County to Begin Curfews Tonight
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington are issuing an order for curfews to begin tonight, Friday, September 14th at 10pm. Curfews are in effect from 10pm-6am until further notice.
Noon Thursday:— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 14, 2018
Some Hurricane Florence heavy rainfall reports received so far
18.53 inches Oriental, NC
14.07 inches Surf City, NC
13.81 inches WFO Morehead City, NC
13.07 inches Jacksonville, NC
Gov. Roy Cooper has activated the NC Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by Florence.
UPDATE || Kickoff for Clemson vs. Georgia Southern on Saturday remains at 12 p.m. ET.— Clemson Athletics (@ClemsonTigers) September 14, 2018
Please review our important reminders regarding traffic and other gameday operations: https://t.co/3JuVU8AC5e pic.twitter.com/4xA4WTmHCc
Don't be fooled by its Cat. 1 strength. Up to 40" of rain and 9-13 ft surge will remain threats into the weekend for the Carolinas. @BradNitzWSB and I are breaking down the new information and updating N GA's forecast at Noon. pic.twitter.com/vdPfHG1Wa6— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) September 14, 2018
NEW: 25k + without power in Northern Horry County, per electric company. Two transmission lines locked out. Crews can’t work in winds over 35 mph. Live report from Myrtle Beach at noon on @wsbtv https://t.co/YCVpdYxOzv— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) September 14, 2018
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologists Brad Nitz and Katie Walls answered your questions on Channel 2's Facebook page:
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper held a news conference urging North Carolina residents to stay indoors.
"To those in the storm's path if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place. Do not go out in this storm," Cooper said.
Cooper said there are approximately 200,000 people in over 100 shelters and nearly half a million customers without power.
"The storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days, and be a major inland event as well," he said.
Still getting wind gusts in the 60-70 mph range here -- certainly enough to do additional damage. We start transitioning to rain (and continued coastal flooding) being the big story soon. #Florence #WilmingtonNC— Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) September 14, 2018
11 am advisory and track update just in:— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 14, 2018
Current sustained wind 85 mph. Florence is expected to maintain hurricane strength for 24 hours as it moves slowly into South Carolina.
It passes to our east this weekend with only a few showers. pic.twitter.com/EUHRlKm7ty
NC's statewide power outage summary (10:30 am) is 497,255. The top counties affected are Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Johnston, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Sampson, Wake and Wayne counties. For updates and more, visit: https://t.co/13gwbBvPqF— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) September 14, 2018
Our sister station WSOC-TV in Charlotte speaks with airport officials:
@CLTAirport expecting high winds/ rain.— Gina Esposito (@GinaWSOC9) September 14, 2018
-increased inspections of land field, cleared debris
-inspected parking lots
-cross wind runway may be utilized
-airport won't close @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/QP7LLPxonL
Please share this safety info for #Florence:— FEMA (@fema) September 14, 2018
🔹If trapped in a building, go to the highest floor.
🔹Do not climb into a closed attic; you may get trapped by rising floodwater.
🔹Get on the roof only if necessary.
🚨Call 9-1-1 for emergencies.🚨 pic.twitter.com/Hna2aGpmMP
Updated rainfall projections: 1-2" possible in NE and E GA, less than 1" in the Metro mainly Saturday night into Sunday. Flooding rain (which has already begun) expected in NC, SC and extending into VA and southeastern WV into Sunday and Monday. pic.twitter.com/7Dio34XJJj— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) September 14, 2018
We’ll be feeling the effects of Florence later today. If you are still in town, please make your last preparations to batten down the hatches, including securing your garbage can, other items outside and consider bringing outdoor furniture in.— City of Charleston (@CityCharleston) September 14, 2018
Current statewide power outage total is at 485,143, with the highest concentration in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Wake and Wayne counties. Find updates here: https://t.co/AXU5VpxXnK. #FlorenceNC— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) September 14, 2018
NOAA official on Hurricane #Florence: "This is only the beginning. Florence is a very slow mover. Will continue to track along the North Carolina and South Carolina coastline for the next 24-to-36 hours." https://t.co/EoDeM3c7HA pic.twitter.com/yEHXOZBOFv— ABC News (@ABC) September 14, 2018
9AM UPDATE: HURRICANE FLORENCE. Eye of #Florence is wobbling slowly SW near the SE North Carolina coast. Wind gust of 99 mph reported near the eye. Sustained winds in eyewall are 85 mph as the system weakens slightly. pic.twitter.com/xmByfXYVKH— Karen Minton (@KarenMintonWSB) September 14, 2018
If you must be out, please stay alert for downed power lines across roads. They may be difficult to see in flooded waters or among debris. Turn around and go another way. #FlorenceNC https://t.co/5uxR1V53G9— NCDOT (@NCDOT) September 14, 2018
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan is in Wilmington, where the northeast part of the eyewall is over the area now. Monahan said the area will move into the eastern eyewall shortly – but it appears to be weaker.
Monahan says from there the wind should taper throughout the day but there is still major concerns about the storm surge and rainfall totals.
The sun is up over #Florence as it moves inland. We tracked it as it made landfall at 7:15. We'll be getting more images and video of the damage and continuing flooding along the NC coast. Be sure to follow us. @BradNitzWSB and I will be back with LIVE updates at Noon on Ch. 2. pic.twitter.com/udVfXAYcyd— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) September 14, 2018
Center came in just to our south.. that means no break from the wind. pic.twitter.com/gFbUAB4p7Y— Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) September 14, 2018
Just spoke with the @WaffleHouse crew from Augusta that did an amazing job serving us yesterday — they’re waiting for the wind to sue down to walk across the street had start their next shift. High five to them! 🙌🏼— Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) September 14, 2018
105 mph gust at Wilmington Intl Airport, the 2nd highest wind gust ever recorded there. The highest gust recorded in Wilmington was 135 mph from Hurricane Helene in 1958. #Florence officially made landfall at 7:15am near Wrightsville Beach. pic.twitter.com/6FPzcN4vax— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) September 14, 2018
NEW: #Hurricane #Florence has made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 AM EDT (1115 UTC) with estimated maximum winds of 90 mph (150 km/h), and a minimum central pressure estimate of 958 mb (28.29"). https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/vzpe6MjTf9— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 14, 2018
Good Morning America spoke with the mayor of New Bern, North Carolina, where crews are still working to rescue people trapped in their homes:
Mayor of New Bern, NC says about 200 residents have been rescued and they are trying to rescue 150 others while keeping first responders safe in the "very unsafe" weather. https://t.co/4SY4omSo9E pic.twitter.com/aVKa5fH8nj— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 14, 2018
Current statewide power outage total is at 372,095, with the highest concentration in Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Wake counties. Find updates here: https://t.co/13gwbBvPqF— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) September 14, 2018
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan reported from Wilmington as the eyewall moved over the area:
Landfall imminent at Wrightsville Beach, NC — but landfall won’t matter for long. The torturous next 24 hours of wind and WATER WILL BE INCDREDIBLY DANGEROUS. https://t.co/TZAqovE43C— Ginger Zee (@Ginger_Zee) September 14, 2018
#Florence is about to make landfall near Wrightsville Beach. Meanwhile, Wilmington (ILM) is reporting the 4th lowest pressure on record and it's still falling. Only Hurricanes Floyd, Fran and Donna have had lower pressures. #StormWatchOn2 pic.twitter.com/3e8V7WJlQg— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) September 14, 2018
New Bern Police Department on Twitter shared photos of their water rescue efforts that are still ongoing in North Carolina.
Wind gusting over 90 now in Wilmington https://t.co/KhFatR8B9L— Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) September 14, 2018
"I'm currently sitting in my truck watching the water rise coming toward me": Bayboro resident trapped in her truck speaks to @sramosABC as Hurricane #Florence pummels North Carolina coast with torrential rain. https://t.co/Cws2bRRn0G pic.twitter.com/yvdwrctXtZ— ABC News (@ABC) September 14, 2018
Hurricane Florence making landfall very soon. Catastrophic flooding happening now in New Bern, NC. Some did not evacuate. Rescues happening now. If you are ever in this situation PLEASE evacuate when told. DON'T ride it out. You might not survive! pic.twitter.com/0E3w2KrJwT— Karen Minton (@KarenMintonWSB) September 14, 2018
Crew are still working to rescue neighbors trapped by flooding in the New Bern, North Carolina.
NC's statewide power outage summary (6 am) is 321,692. The top counties affected are New Hanover, Carteret, Onslow, Pender and Craven. For power outage updates and more, visit https://t.co/Yx3twhyOqj . #FlorenceNC— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) September 14, 2018
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan is in Wilmington, North Carolina where the storm is expected to make landfall within hours.
ABC News reports that hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina has been evacuated. Jacksonville is located about 58 miles north of Wilmington.
LATEST: Hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, evacuated "after hurricane force winds threatened the structural integrity of the building," officials say, as #Florence lashes coast. https://t.co/3C9GobdIlI pic.twitter.com/zKBZvwRM2E— ABC News (@ABC) September 14, 2018
At 5:53am NHC reports #Florence eye wall now onshore in NC. Landfall expected very soon 7 feet of water reported in Emerald Isle.— Karen Minton (@KarenMintonWSB) September 14, 2018
Most recent wind gusts in Wilmington, NC to 70 mph. It will be several hours of strong winds and catastrophic rain. Feet of rain will fall over the next couple of days. Terrible flooding, life threatening flooding will continue the next couple of days. pic.twitter.com/9NgiqNEr1V— Karen Minton (@KarenMintonWSB) September 14, 2018
The eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast as the Category 1 prepares to make landfall Friday.
3:57AM Friday 9/14/18: Hurricane Florence eye wall beginning to reach North Carolina coast. Cape Lookout, NC reports 68 mph winds with gusts to 90 mph. 6.6 feet of water reported from a gauge in Emerald Isle, NC. Updates on WSB-TV starting at 4:30am pic.twitter.com/GhfLdSuAFU— Karen Minton (@KarenMintonWSB) September 14, 2018
In New Bern, N.C., more than 150 residents are currently awaiting a swift water rescue. Craven County officials tell ABC News that people "are trapped on roofs and in vehicles."
LATEST: People "are trapped on roofs and in vehicles," Craven County official tells @ABC News' @kendisgibson as Hurricane #Florence lashes North Carolina coast. https://t.co/HNvvfv7ePo pic.twitter.com/bXdvwHzMNG— ABC News (@ABC) September 14, 2018
HURRICANE FLORENCE: 35 miles east of Wilmington, NC. A turn to the west and slower forward speed through today. Turning WSW tonight and Saturday. Hurricane force winds 80 miles from center; TS winds 195 miles from center. pic.twitter.com/auUy9PowwX— Karen Minton (@KarenMintonWSB) September 14, 2018
The interaction between land and Hurricane Florence is taking its toll as wind speeds are maxed at 90 mph early with gusts of 120 mph and winds from the northwest at 6 mph.
Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns says this will create a scenario of problems including intense rain fall and storm surge.
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