Tropical Storm Florence crawls inland as it batters North and SC

Watch Hurricane Florence Make Landfall in This Incredible Space Station Video

The National Hurricane Center said the storm has caused "catastrophic flooding" in North and SC. Rescue crews used boats to carry more than 360 people from rising water in the river town of New Bern, North Carolina, while many of their neighbors awaited help.

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power.

"Two people in Wilmington were killed when a tree fell on their home", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told WCNC. "More than likely it's maybe a mindset of 'we've been through this before, '" he said.

In the town of Hampstead, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest Friday morning found their path blocked by downed trees.

Police block a road as rain from Hurricane Florence falls in Wilmington, North Carolina on 13 September 2018. The deaths were among the first recorded fatalities from the storm, which also killed a 77-year-old man who was knocked over by wind after going outside to check on his dogs.

In North Carolina, the city of New Bern was particularly hard hit.

There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning.

Since being shared online just 12 hours ago, the video has collected over 10 million views and more than 3 lakh "likes" on Twitter alone.

Florence weakened somewhat after making landfall and on Saturday was a tropical storm that had sustained winds of 50 mph as it churned about 40 miles west of Myrtle Beach, S.C., the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 11 a.m. Saturday.

When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the rivers began to swell - and combined with high tide, made for risky flooding. Power outages are widespread including over 740,000 in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC. As of 5 a.m. Saturday, the storm's center was about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, according to the National Hurricane Center. The eye moved from sea to land at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.

The Navy says nearly 30 Virginia-based ships and 128 aircraft sent away from their bases in the Hampton Roads-area because of now-Tropical Storm Florence have been given the go-ahead to return. With many areas already flooded by seawater, forecasts warned of a period of extensive flooding around the region's winding network of rivers and creeks.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm as it moved further inland in the days ahead.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Florence is still a risky storm and is linked to at least five deaths so far.

Jon Wright considers himself one of the lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C. - so far. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. Wind gusts of 105 miles per hour - the highest recorded since 1958 - were reported in Wilmington Friday morning. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

"Right now we've rescued over 400 people".

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril. He was pleased to get the texts, a sign that he still had cell phone reception, and made a decision to go rev up his generator that is now powering is refrigerator and his satellite TV, which he's spent a portion of Friday watching. But don't go back until you get the official all-clear.

FEMA teams were employing boats in the rescues and were determining which cases were the most severe. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled.

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