FLORENCE: Tree falls on Wilmington home, killing mother, child

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Significant weakening was expected over the weekend. The child's injured father was taken to a hospital.

The photo shows just how huge Florence looks, with its wind field stretching for hundreds of miles.

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

Collins added that EMS operations have been suspended, and a curfew will go into effect in Pender County at 7 p.m. Greenville station WITN said a 78-year-old man was electrocuted while he was trying to connect two extension cords in the rain.

Also in Kinston, a 77-year-old man died while checking on his hunting dogs outside in the storm. His body was also found by family. The streets were mostly deserted and some were blocked by fallen trees.

Amber Dawn Lee, 61, of the town of Union, died at the scene, according to Union County Coroner William Holcombe.

Many thousand more power customers were without electricity in northeastern South Carolina Friday night.

Once winds drop to 73 miles per hour, Florence will become a tropical storm.

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NBC News is reporting five deaths as a result of the storm. She died Friday morning.

This landfall has been a long time coming: The hurricane arrived more than two weeks after the National Hurricane Center issued its first advisory for the storm.

Coordinator of Emergency Management Kevin Johnson was joined by a small crew of personnel from county administration, public information, fire and rescue, and the Sheriff's Office, among others. And she has seen reports of people fleeing to rooftops to escape high floodwaters.

Two more deaths in the state have been attributed to Florence, including a person killed while plugging in a generator and a woman who suffered a heart attack.

The hurricane was "wreaking havoc" and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days", the governor said. "Be extremely careful and stay alert". "An investigation into the death is underway, but it appears there is no reason for others at the shelter to worry".

Hurricane Florence is battering North Carolina with wild winds and a powerful storm surge.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned that life-threatening storm surges - in which water is pushed by a storm over land that would normally be dry - catastrophic freshwater flooding were still expected. It's since slowed down even more than it had been - moving west at just 2 miles per hour.

According to the Weather Prediction Center, Wrightsville Beach had received over 18 inches of rain from 2 p.m. ET Thursday to 10 a.m. ET Friday. The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, the weather service said. As the system continues its way through our neighbor to the south, its dropping inches of rain upon the Piedmont Triad. The fear is that during that slow march west, it'll drop torrential rains, flooding low-lying areas and overwhelming rivers.

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