Florence downgraded to tropical storm

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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

The sixth Florence related death is also the first reported in South Carolina, according to both the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Union County Coroner's Office. A gust of 170kph was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their home Friday in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Wilmington police tweeted that the father was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries.

The National Weather Service said on Twitter on Friday night that Morehead City had received 23.04 inches of rain with more heavy rain coming.

Crews had been on the scene clearing the roads, but have since suspended operations, according to Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins.

Hurricane Florence claimed the lives of four people after reaching the southeast US coast on Friday, and has left hundreds of thousands without power as it lingers over the Carolinas.

Florence's center may linger for another whole day along coastal North and SC - punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who've stayed behind. As of 8 a.m. on Saturday the system was located about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and was about 45 miles south-southeast of Florence, S.C.

Winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power. "It's better to just leave and then come back and see what has happened all at once".

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster asked people to remain patient during a last-minute news conference before Hurricane Florence begins to impact the state. She plans to continue to ride out the storm. The Carteret Country Sheriff's Department confirmed that these two deaths initially reported as a result of Florence were a result of an apparent murder-suicide.

As of 1 p.m. EDT, Florence is weakening as it moves farther inland over southeastern North Carolina.

A state of emergency is in effect in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of sea water.

She, her husband and three children went up into the attic for a while, but the winds howled and the family descended to an upper floor bedroom.

The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said people could still leave flood-prone areas.

The powerful Category 1 storm is making its way south along the Carolina coast hours after making technical landfall early Friday morning. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks. She died Friday morning.

"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.

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