>> Florence downgraded to a tropical storm Friday. But not before a mother and her infant became the first casualties of the storm when heavy rains and fierce winds sent a tree crashing into their home. And a woman in another North Carolina town died from a heart attack when blocked roads prevented paramedics from reaching her in time.
Those among several people killed by the storm. Coastal streets flooded, and hundreds of thousands of residents lost power as Florence slows and lingers over the Carolina coast.>> I do wanna emphasize that this only the beginning.>> Florence first made landfall Friday morning in Wrightsville Beach, close to Wilmington, North Carolina, where Florence has already damaged roofs and brought down trees.
Reuters reporter, Ernest Scheyder, is there with the latest.>> We spoke with one man, a Wilmington resident earlier today who said a giant tree fell through the roof of his house. And that all roads in and out of his neighborhood were closed meaning there was no way for help to get to him.
The man said to Reuters that, just because Florence has been downgraded doesn't mean it's any less dangerous.>> In fact, forecasters predict Florence could drop up to eight months of rain in just two or three days.>> If you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place, do not go out in this storm.
>> The coastal city of New Bern, already hard hit, submerged in water due to a storm surge.>> People all night long have been in attics and roofs asking for help and with the resources we had, we got them out there. We are calling for more resources. We've asked the governor to send out the National Guard.
>> Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands also inundated. Florence's power though downgraded somewhat is being felt in South Carolina where residents have already been evacuated.>> We're liable to have flooding all over the state. Because this is something that we have not seen before, this much rain, a hurricane staying on top of us for this long.
>> White House officials say President Trump will travel to areas hit by the storm early next week