LIVE UPDATES: Flash flood emergency issued for parts of NC as Florence dumps rain

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.

PHOTOS: Water rescues, damage as Florence impacts Carolinas

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.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Severe Weather Team 2 App for updates]

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.

[PHOTOS: Water rescues, damage as Florence impacts North Carolina]


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The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Emergency for several counties in North Carolina.

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WATCH LIVE: Tracking Tropical Storm Florence

TRACKING FLORENCE: Torrential flooding will continue for several more hours as Florence continues to dump rain across the Carolinas. Here's Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns and Meteorologist Brad Nitz with what you need to know about the storm.

Posted by WSB-TV on Friday, September 14, 2018

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The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United are pledging to help support the Hurricane Florence relief effort.

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The American Red Cross says about 2,000 disaster workers have been deployed to help with Florence relief.

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Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns said Florence currently has 70 mph winds, with gusts of 85 mph.

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Severe Weather Team 2's Brian Monahan just tweeted a picture of a dock that had broken apart and floated away

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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.

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Severe Weather Team 2 says Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

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Channel 2's Nicole Carr gives us a look at what conditions are like in Myrtle Beach:

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White House confirms President Trump has been briefed on the latest impacts from Hurricane Florence

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Nearly 750,000 people without power in North Carolina:

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President Trump "expected to travel to areas affected by the storm early to middle of next week."

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A fourth person has died in Lenoir County, N.C. while plugging in a generator, authorities confirmed to ABC News.

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Wind and rain continues to pound Wilmington, NC

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Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes says hotels along I-20 are booked solid with evacuees.

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Severe Weather Team 2 forecasts that areas of the North Carolina coast could see an additional 10-20 inches of rain.

2:49 p.m.

The Wilmington Police Department has confirmed that two people are dead after a tree fell on a home in Wilmington, NC.

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10 - 20 more inches of rain are expected in already flooded areas of North Carolina.

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"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."

2:25 p.m.

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.

2:19 p.m.

Nearly 80,000 people in South Carolina and over 600,000 people in North Carolina are currently without power.

2:09 p.m.

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.

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The 2 p.m. update is in. Rain is still the primary concern.

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A truck tries to navigate flood waters in New Bern, North Carolina.

1:05 p.m.

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.

1:02 p.m.

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.

Tree falls on home.

12:52 p.m.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan is starting to see surge flooding in Wilmington:

12:40 p.m.

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.

12:32 p.m. 

Some towns along coastal North Carolina are imposing curfews.

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Gov. Roy Cooper has activated the NC Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by Florence.

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Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologists Brad Nitz and Katie Walls answered your questions on Channel 2's Facebook page:

HAPPENING NOW: Concerns about catastropic flooding as Hurricane Florence batters coast

HAPPENING NOW: Catastrophic flooding a concern as Hurricane Florence batters the coast. Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologists Brad Nitz and Katie Walls are taking your questions LIVE.

Posted by WSB-TV on Friday, September 14, 2018

11:05 a.m.

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.

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Our sister station WSOC-TV in Charlotte speaks with airport officials:

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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.

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[READ: Here's how Waffle House restaurants are used to determine severity of storms]

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Good Morning America spoke with the mayor of New Bern, North Carolina, where crews are still working to rescue people trapped in their homes:

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Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan reported from Wilmington as the eyewall moved over the area:

Florence making landfall near Wilmington NC

Posted by Brian Monahan, WSB on Friday, September 14, 2018

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New Bern Police Department on Twitter shared photos of their water rescue efforts that are still ongoing in North Carolina.

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Crew are still working to rescue neighbors trapped by flooding in the New Bern, North Carolina.

Update. Those that are flooded should not go into the attic unless they have a way to cut threw the ceiling or...

Posted by City of New Bern, NC Government on Friday, September 14, 2018

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Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan is in Wilmington, North Carolina where the storm is expected to make landfall within hours.

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ABC News reports that hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina has been evacuated. Jacksonville is located about 58 miles north of Wilmington.

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The eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast as the Category 1 prepares to make landfall Friday.

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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."

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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.

[EXPLAINER:  How does a hurricane form?]

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