Federal Officials Halt Immigration Arrests During Hurricane Florence

"This storm will bring destruction", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

At least 188,000 people were already without power in North and SC early on Friday.

"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington", the force tweeted on Friday afternoon.

The Wilmington Police Department confirms Hurricane Florence has killed two after a tree falls on a mother and infant in Wilmington, NC. The sheriff said all three victims were in cars that were swept away. When they got to the home, the woman was deceased, Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.

More than 440,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said. The National Hurricane Center says Florence is producing tropical storm-force wind gusts in Florence, South Carolina, about 60 miles from the coast.

At 9 a.m., the center of Florence was wobbling about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, its winds down to 85 mph, according to the hurricane center.

"The only difference is, back then it was within 14 days", he said.

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.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

Of more than 600,000 power outages across North Carolina, over 100,000 of them span New Hanover County, which has taken much of the brunt of Florence.

"I might play a tiny bit, but the reason we're all here is because a hurricane may destroy our homes, and we're waiting to see what happens with that", Liebelt said.

In addition, the threat of storm surges looms for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible.

"We are saddened by the sudden passing of one of our community, and our hearts go out to the family and friends who are now grieving during such an already stressful period", Amanda Hutcheson, the Brunswick County Government public information officer wrote in an email.

Some of the worst flooding was in the town of New Bern, where many residents were trapped in their water-logged homes.

"I didn't think it was real when I heard they were giving out rooms", said Liebelt, a communications graduate student at the University of North Carolina.

Rescue operations began as daylight broke over the North Carolina coast Friday morning, while Hurricane Florence continued to pound the area with wind and rain.

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