ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Tropical Storm Florence lumbered inland on Saturday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping sheets of rain in the Carolinas where five people have died.
It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 350-mile-wide storm's slow progress across North and South Carolina could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.
A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The child's injured father was taken to hospital.
In Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.
Two people died in Lenoir County.
A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.
In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.
Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.
More than 22,600 people were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.
North Carolina utilities estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.
The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.
Trump plans a visit to the region next week.
Florence was moving west-southwest at about 5 mph (7 km/h), with its center located over eastern South Carolina.
The storm is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said early on Saturday.
The storm was expected to become a tropical depression on Saturday and significant weakening was expected over the weekend, the NHC said in a bulletin.
Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.
Super Typhoon Mangkhut tore through the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday packing winds of more than 200 km per hour (124 mph) along with torrential rain, killing three people and causing floods, landslides and power outages.
=== Five dead as Florence lumbers inland Florence, now weakened to a Tropical Storm, is slowly moving across North Carolina, flooding communities, knocking out power and leaving five dead so far.
Rough Cut (no reporter narration).