Live Stream: Florence, now a tropical storm, still poses ‘catastrophic’ flood threat — has killed at least 5

(NBC NEWS) – At least five people were killed Friday after Hurricane Florence crashed ashore on North Carolina’s coast, ripping apart roofs with extreme winds, threatening massive storm surges and requiring dozens of water rescues.

LIVE: NBC News Special Report: Latest updates on Florence.

LIVE: NBC News Special Report: Latest updates on Hurricane Florence.

Posted by NBC News on Friday, September 14, 2018

Hours after Florence’s eye made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, northeast of Wilmington, the storm wobbled along the coast with a slow grind. Its lumbering pace propelled fears that flooding would worsen during high tide and force rivers to crest at record levels.

At 5 p.m., the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm, but the National Weather Service warned that it was expected to produce “catastrophic freshwater flooding” in parts of the Carolinas, and that potentially life-threatening storm surge will continue Friday night.

Live Stream: Hurricane Florence coverage:

Florence, a Category 1 storm, was downgraded late Thursday but continued to carry maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and crawl along at just 6 mph.

Forecasters warned of “catastrophic” freshwater flooding along the Carolinas and the potential for up to 40 inches of rain in some parts.

More than 640,000 customers were without power Friday afternoon, according to emergency management officials, as social media users shared videos of snapped trees and water rushing onto coastal streets like rivers.

In Wilmington, first responders rushed to a neighborhood where a tree fell on the back of a home, trapping three people.

Two of them — an unidentified woman and infant — were killed.

A third person was freed and taken to the hospital with unknown injuries, although a fire official said the victim had a “crush injury” and may have had a body part amputated.

Hurricane Florence has made landfall.

The eye of the storm came ashore near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 Friday morning as a Category 1 storm packing 90 mile per hour sustained winds.

Live Stream: Hurricane Florence coverage:

Forecasters warn the storm will still generate deadly weather over the next two days.

Storm surges are expected to peak later Friday, and Florence is expected to make a slow push through the Carolinas, dumping rain that will be measured in feet, not inches, in many areas.

A fourth person died in Lenoir County, north of Wilmington, while plugging in a generator, authorities said.

More than 370,000 people are currently without power.

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