International desk – At least five people have been confirmed dead after hurricane Florence made landfall on the East Coast of the United States.
The hurricane which downgraded to a tropical storm when it made the made landfall continues to soak the East Coast area with rain, downing tress and damaging homes, according to media reports.
BBC reported that weather forecasters warned of the risk of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of North and South Carolina.
It is slowly grinding over the eastern states, with winds of 105 kilometers per hour. Thousands of people have been staying in emergency shelters as evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region.
A mother and her infant were killed in Wilmington when a tree fell on their home on Friday. Officials say the child’s father was also transported to hospital for injuries.
Two men in their 70s were killed in Lenoir County. One was killed when connecting an electrical generator, and family members say another man was killed in a wind-related death when checking on dogs outside his property, the BBC reported.
A woman died from cardiac arrest in the town of Hampstead after emergency responders had their route to her blocked by downed trees, a county official said.
The storm originally made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning as a category one hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center said late on Friday that catastrophic fresh water flooding is expected in parts of both the Carolinas. Some parts of North Carolina have already seen surges as high as 3 meters in places.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the hurricane was likely to “continue its violent grind for days” and described the severity of the downfalls as a “1,000 year event”.
Florence is expected to dump 18 trillion gallons of rainwater on US soil, meteorologist Ryan Maue tweeted.
Almost 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks.
More than 20,000 residents have packed into North Carolina emergency shelters, and officials have told those still in the storm’s path to stay in place.
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, officials had rescued more than 60 people overnight on Thursday from a hotel that was collapsing in the storm.