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Hurricane Florence kills at least three people

Hurricane Florence kills at least three people

Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

As Americans in North and SC begin to feel the effects of Hurricane Florence, The Weather Channel has reminded viewers of how risky storm surges can be.

The center downgraded Florence to a Category 1 hurricane, but warned that it still carried "very unsafe winds".

It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast.

Tominack said he is seeing extremely strong winds, but he has not yet had any issues with flooding.

Hurricane Florence roared ashore Friday morning, bringing punishing winds and rains. But the hurricane had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, drenching coastal communities for hours on end.

The hurricane has been moving at only 3-6 miles per hour as it drops torrential rains.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

None of the people rescued were injured.

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North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

Hurricane Florence has claimed the lives of at least five people, including a mother and her infant son who were crushed to death by a tree, police said. City spokeswoman Colleen Roberts tells WRAL-TV that 200 people have already been rescued.

As the Category 1 hurricane bore down on the Carolinas on Thursday, WCTI meteorologists Donnie Cox and Shane Hinton continued to oversee coverage of the storm for the city of New Bern. He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 3.5m.

Forecasters said conditions will continue to deteriorate as the storm makes its way slowly inland.

The National Hurricane Center said early Friday that a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.

New Bern's WCTI television employees fled their studio Thursday night due to rising flood waters. As of 2 p.m., the storm was about 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, N.C., and about 35 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Hurricane Florence already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and more is to come. It started pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.