Hurricane Florence has barrelled into the Carolina coast and moved inland, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the death of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.
On the morning of September 14, the National Hurricane Centre warned that "catastrophic" flooding and "life-threatening" storm surges were expected to spread inland. Authorities have advised people, however, to move to higher levels in their homes while they wait to be rescued. More than 60 others had to be rescued as a cinderblock motel collapsed.
The vivid presentation - powered by the Unreal Engine, most commonly used in video games - seems likely to serve as a more pressing demonstration of the storm's threat than a mere written warning, and that's vitally important for folks in impacted areas.
"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".
In Craven County, New Bern's mayor says the town has seen historic flooding, with as much as 10 feet of water reported in some places.
In Wilmington, the storm tore down numerous trees when its centre tore through the area Friday morning.
Elsewhere in North Carolina, one person was killed while plugging in a generator, and a man was knocked to the ground while outside and died.
"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", said Ballance, owner of a seafood restaurant that was flooded.
Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding. But the hurricane had slowed to a crawl, drenching coastal communities for hours on end.
The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rainfall on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places.
"Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Florence on September 14 at 7:41 a.m. EDT minutes after the storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina packing winds of 90 miles an hour", NASA said in a video description. It started pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.
"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.
Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.
Here is the newest information on Tropical Storm Florence as it lands on the East Coast.
Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.
Hurricane Florence brought a storm surge of some 3 meters (10 feet) as it began battering the U.S. east coast early on Friday.