Florence destroys landmark pier in Atlantic Beach

Hurricane Florence destroyed a landmark pier in the town of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. 

The structure had stood for nearly 60 years. FOX News reporter Griff Jenkins was live from Oceanana Pier Friday morning as the powerful Category 1 storm made landfall. 

"The pier, gone. Gone," Jenkins said. "We cannot find it, guys."

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Hurricane Florence

Florence lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 mph winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to a half-million homes and businesses as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.

Its storm surge and the prospect of 1 to 3½ feet of rain were considered a bigger threat than its winds, which dropped way down from a terrifying 140 mph - Category 4 - earlier in the week. Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls across the Carolinas.

Coastal streets flowed with frothy ocean water, and at least 490,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

MORE: Florence makes landfall in North Carolina