Mother, infant, among several killed by Hurricane Florence

Meteorologists cut broadcast evacuate news station during Hurricane Florence

Firefighters look into a home that a large tree fell on that has three people trapped after Hurricane Florence hit the area on September 14, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

This landfall has been a long time coming: The hurricane arrived more than two weeks after the National Hurricane Center issued its first advisory for the storm.

But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.

The Category 1 hurricane began to throttle the Carolinas Thursday with a heavy storm surge that burst inland, causing major flooding in New Bern, N.C., where WCTI, the city's ABC affiliate, is located, The Weather Channel reported. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment. NBC news reported a woman called for help, but died of a heart attack because emergency crews were unable to reach her due to trees that had fallen in the road. Roberts said numerous residents live near the Neuse and Trent rivers.

"Pretty soon I had a hundred of my closest friends out here helping us out", Britt said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the storm was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

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

"You evacuate from water", Cline said. Officials in the town of 30,000, which dates to the early 18th century, said over 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.

Billy Sample, a resident stuck in the town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, said Friday night: "The height of the storm didn't feel as bad as it is now".

With the brunt of the storm yet to come, a gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, a city near the coast, was already recording 10 feet (3 meters) of inundation, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.

Water levels in Pamlico Sound and Emerald Isle are elevated and are expected to rise even further as the tide comes in. The unsafe storm surge caused damage and flooding.

"I've been through hurricanes before", he says.

It didn't take long for Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand to start feeling its impacts, with the area waking up to steady 20-30 miles per hour winds Friday morning.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos * a href="https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleNC.gov/?tn-str=k*F" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, the storm won't even be halfway across SC, forecasters say.

"We're seeing potential for flooding in counties that haven't seen flooding in recent years and we're looking at 500- to 1000-year rain and flood events here in North Carolina".

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.

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