Hurricane Florence approached the Carolinas early Thursday morning with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour - just below a Category 3 storm. The storm continues to very slowly move west and inland, and will continue to impact the region through the weekend.
A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the US for the first time.
The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The US National Hurricane Center has warned that a life-threatening storm surge along the coast of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia is likely.
A woman and her child died after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, the first reported fatalities from Hurricane Florence, which made landfall earlier on Friday.
A North Carolina meteorologist reporting on Hurricane Florence was forced to abandon his live broadcast mid-sentence - just as his building began to flood, video shows.
City officials sent out an dramatic tweet about 2am Friday as rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop, and people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose.
It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 350-mile-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.
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Florence remains a Category 1 storm, and it's spinning hurricane-force winds up to 70 miles from its center. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter. His mom remembers Hurricane Hazel, when the water did not rise as high as his fifth step, where it was Thursday night.
"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses", Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night.
The airport was almost empty Friday morning, as thousands of passengers had already changed their flight schedules.
Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.
At least four people have died, but authorities fear the death toll with increase as the storm crawls westward Saturday across SC.
Hundreds of people in North Carolina have been rescued from rising water.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 36 trillion litres, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 25 centimetres.
WXII-TV reports the city of New Bern said Friday that two out-of-state FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more teams were on the way. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.
He said flooding will continue for days and the full magnitude of the hurricane is unknown.