0446 GMT September 18, 2019
Florence crashed ashore in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane Friday, and was downgraded to a tropical storm the same afternoon, CNN reported.
As night fell, it drifted into South Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, leaving people trapped in flooded homes and promising days of destruction and human suffering.
The storm's powerful surges, winds and rain turned some towns into rushing rivers. It's expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, its torrential rain pounding some areas over and over.
It's "relentless and excruciating and very slow," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.
Florence's five fatalities included a mother and her infant killed after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, the city's police department said. The father was hospitalized with injuries.
In Hampstead, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest found their path blocked by downed trees. When they got to the home, the woman was dead, authorities said.
Two men were also killed in Lenoir County: One was electrocuted while hooking up a generator and the other while checking on his dogs outside, emergency officials said.
Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence on September 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina.