There have already been 360 rescues in New Bern, North Carolina since Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday morning.

Morehead City resident Rebecca Marson decided not to evacuate because her surgeon husband wanted to remain behind with other first responders.

"We are still trying to rescue about 150 residents that did not evacuate, and we are now going in with water rescues to get these folks to a shelter", Outlaw said.

The water starts at her feet, rising behind her to three feet and "coming up my shins towards my waist", then to six feet and finally to nine feet, dwarfing her as she warns of the storm surge. "The water looming over Dr. Navarro is a brilliant way of showing the dangers of storm surge".

A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.

He said "24 to 36 hours remain for significant threats" from heavy rain, storm surge and flooding.

A tree fell on a homeowner's vehicle, parked in the driveway as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina. Forecasters said this onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas. "But I think we're ready".

Hurricane Florence is now located about 15 miles north-northeast of Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm and further downgraded to a tropic storm on Friday evening.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Totals Could be Staggering
Gentry encouraged residents to be prepared for the storm by Wednesday evening and as it closes in, to stay at home. A hurricane watch is now in effect from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to the southern border of Virginia.

At 90 miles per hour, its wind speed was dipping but still unsafe.

Given the storm's size and slow speed, officials warned that Florence could cause similar large-scale flood damage to that seen in the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago.

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

The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15am (local time) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 150kph, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the USA for the first time.

Roughly 1 million people are under evacuation orders.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend. According to Fire Chief Glen Rogers, there are in fact only 12 people left on the beach to sit out the storm.