At Least 5 Dead from Hurricane Florence

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No deaths have been reported in New Bern, but the situation caused by Hurricane Florence is dire, the mayor said.

As Americans in North and SC begin to feel the effects of Hurricane Florence, The Weather Channel has reminded viewers of how unsafe storm surges can be. As of 1 p.m. ET, the storm's sustained winds dropped to 75 miles per hour as it wobbled west-southwestward near the coast, delaying its expected move inland, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

After maintaining Category 4 or 3 status most of Wednesday, Florence was a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph churning about 205 miles southeast of Wilmington, according to a 5 a.m. briefing by the National Hurricane Center.

Earlier Friday, the Wilmington Police said they were responding to this incident.

But it's not only North Carolinians who live along the coast who are being impacted by severe flooding.

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"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press. The highest numbers are being reported in New Hanover County. The city said two FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more were on the way. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend. There had been no reports of injuries or fatalities, though most of the city was without power and thousands of buildings had been damaged, she said.

Roughly 1 million people are under evacuation orders. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury.

More than 20,000 people are spending Friday night in shelters in North Carolina, as Hurricane Florence hits the state.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", Ballance said. The Ahold Delhaize USA chain said on its website that it has temporarily shut 126 stores in North Carolina, 53 in SC and four in Virginia.

Florence plowed into the Carolinas and lumbered slowly inland on Friday, knocking down trees, gorging rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leaving five people dead before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

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After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.

About 70 people in Jacksonville, North Carolina, had to be moved to safety from a hotel whose structural integrity was threatened by the hurricane.

Emergency officials on Wrightsville Beach were able to assess the beginning impacts of Hurricane Florence before day turned to night Thursday.

"Very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and feared splintering trees would pummel her house.

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire.

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