Hurricane Florence batters North Carolina with wind, rain

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- A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says.

The death toll in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence continues to rise after three people were killed Saturday afternoon.

A mother and her baby died when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Firefighters pray at an operation to remove a tree that fell on a house injuring resident during Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. The father sustained injuries and was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for medical care.

WILMINGTON, North Carolina: Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina early Friday local time, pushing a life-threatening storm surge of floodwater several kilometres inland and ripping apart buildings with screaming wind and pelting rain.

Since 1950, the center of 24 tropical systems (tropical storms and hurricanes combined) have either directly hit Wilmington, North Carolina have come within 25 miles of Wilmington.

Winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: "NO WAY" Trump pushes back on ex-lawyer putting out book, cites "attorney-client privilege" Wealthiest Republican supporter in OH quits party MORE plans to travel to areas affected by Hurricane Florence next week once conditions improve and his visit won't disrupt recovery efforts, the White House said Friday.

"It's the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help and you can't do anything", she said.

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MPR News reports that half-million homes and businesses are without power, a statistic that will likely rise as the storm expands its reach.

In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, Hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast as seen from the International Space Station.

"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses", Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night.

She, her husband and three children went up into the attic for a while, but the winds howled and the family descended to an upper floor bedroom.

Surges of 10 feet had been reported early Friday Morehead City and elsewhere in North Carolina, the National Weather Service said.

This follows the first confirmed death from the storm, which occurred not far away in Pender County Friday morning.

"I about jumped out of my skin", he said in a phone interview Friday morning. Significant weakening was expected over the weekend.

As it moves near OH and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low.