Tropical Storm Florence live coverage: Slow-moving storm drenches Carolinas

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Blowing ashore with howling 90 mph winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster. Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday afternoon, with maximum winds of 70 mph. At least four people were killed.

More than 360 people had been rescued by midafternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help in New Bern.

Downloading the ABC11 app is the best way to stay up-to-date on the latest conditions from Hurricane Florence.

At least four people have been confirmed killed as a result of the storm.

A mother and an infant were killed when a tree fell on their home as then-Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas.

ABC11 is providing live, nonstop coverage of Hurricane Florence. For regular programming go to 11.2.

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A third death happened in Kinston, Lenoir County officials said, when a 78-year-old man was electrocuted at a home Friday morning when he attempted to connect two extension cords outside in the rain. His body was discovered by family members.

Also in Kinston, a 77-year-old man was found dead Friday morning at his home on Middle Street. It is believed his death was caused when he was blown down by the wind when he went out to check on his hunting dogs.


Another person died as a result of a medical incident in Pender County, according to Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins. The woman was at her home in Hampstead. Emergency crews were unable to get to her because of a downed tree in the road. Her death has not been officially attributed to Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence made landfall just before 7:30 Friday morning in Wrightsville Beach as Category 1 storm with maximum 90 mph winds.

New Bern quickly started to flood, causing more than 100 water rescues.

ABC11’s Julie Wilson accompanied one team of volunteers and helped save a dog.

Scroll down for latest updates

POWER OUTAGES: Thousands are already without power. Stay updated on outages here.

The state has opened more than 120 shelters for Florence evacuees.

11 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the core of Florence was located about 15 miles west-northwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Top sustained winds are now about 65 mph, and the storm is moving to the west-southwest at 5 mph – a track that is expected to continue through early Saturday.

As Florence moves further inland over the coming days, the storm is expected to gradually weaken. Forecasters say it could become a depression by Saturday night.

8 p.m.

The center of Tropical Storm Florence has moved into South Carolina, and both it and North Carolina continue to face powerful winds and catastrophic flooding.

Florence’s top sustained winds remain at 70 mph as it crawls west at just 3 mph

At 8 p.m. Friday, Florence was centered about 15 miles north-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and about 55 miles east-southeast of Florence, South Carolina.

5 p.m.

Hundreds have been rescued in New Bern and many other rescues are underway. About 650,000 are without power and the number is expected to rise, Cooper said.

4:45 p.m.

Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm with maximum winds of 70 mph. The storm is inching westward at 3 mph.

4:15 p.m.

President Trump will travel to North Carolina next week to areas affected by the storm.

“The President is expected to travel to areas affected by the storm early to middle of next week, once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts. We will keep you posted when we have details,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

2 p.m.

The Category 1 hurricane was 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington.

The storm was weaking as it moved closer to South Carolina; however, a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane force wind gusts still remain an issue.

11 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center said that life-threatening floods from the slow-moving storm could linger for days.

The storm was located 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, moving 3 mph, just hours after it made landfall in Wrightsville Beach.

Full coverage of Hurricane Florence

The Category 1 storm was winds of 80 mph.

“Our predictions show that the Lumber and Cape Fear rivers will crest significantly higher than they did with Hurricane Matthew,” Gov. Cooper said during a news conference.

Expected impact for the Triangle here

12 p.m.

Tornado Warning in effect for Edgecombe County until 1:15 p.m.

10 a.m.

Flash flood warnings issued for Harnett and Cumberland counties until 4 p.m.

8 a.m.

Flood warnings issued in Sampson County until 1:15 p.m.

Flash flood warnings issued for Wilson and Wayne County until 2 p.m.

Hurricane Florence the latest track

As Hurricane Florence approaches, there are a lot of questions regarding how bad it will get in the Triangle and Sandhills.

7 a.m.

Hurricane Florence makes landfall as Category 1 storm in Wrightsville Beach.

A Tornado Watch was issued for multiple counties including Wake, Edgecombe, Wilson, and Nash. View a full list here.

5 a.m.

The storm was located 25 miles east of Wilmington.

The eyewall of Hurricane Florence begins to reach the North Carolina coast. Winds remain 90 mph.

At least 70 people were evacuated from the Triangle Motor Inn in Jacksonville Friday morning after winds from Hurricane Florence caused severe damage to the budling.
No injuries were reported.

2:30 a.m.

There are about 150 people awaiting rescue in the New Bern area. Multiple rescues have already been made, the Craven County EMS told ABC News.

There are no injuries or causalities so far, but there are reports of people in their attics and on their roofs.

At least 18,000 customers are without power in New Bern and widespread outages are reported in Craven County.

11 p.m.

Florence has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 mph. Florence is now lashing the North Carolina coast with hurricane -force winds and a life-threatening storm surge.

The National Hurricane Center said Thursday night that the threat of freshwater flooding will increase in coming hours and days from the storm’s heavy rains.

The storm’s eye was about 50 miles south of Morehead, City, and Florence is moving to the northwest at 6 mph.

Forecasters said the center of Florence is expected to move inland between Friday and Saturday.

(Copyright ©2018 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.)