It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water. Power outages are widespread including over 740,000 in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC. "There is probably not a county or a person that will not be affected in some way by this very massive and violent storm".
A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from Wilmington police. In the state´s Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris. 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.
Images and video posted on Twitter from the town of Washington, North Carolina, show that floodwaters have travelled as much as 30 miles (nearly 50 kilometers) inland along the Pamlico River, drowning the riverfront.
By 5 a.m., about 200 people had been rescued from flooded homes in New Bern, where the National Weather Service reported 10 feet of inundation.
Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU". "My wife's in a panic right now".
New Bern resident Latasha Jones is one of the more fortunate ones. Emergency crews also rescued an Onslow family from their home where a tree fell through the roof, Jordan said. "We didn't know where to go", she said.
At the time, the storm carried winds of about 90 miles per hour (145 km/h), making it a Category 1 storm, but that ranking belies the hurricane's massive clouds and the downpour it is visiting on the coastline, with some areas already drenched in 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain.
Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 storm in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after stalking the Carolina coast for days.
One-in-two New Zealand, Australian men at risk of cancer
The incidence rate for all cancers combined was about 20% higher in men than in women, and deaths were almost 50% higher for men. But it added that most countries still face an overall rise in the number of cancer cases diagnosed and needing treatment.
Hurricane Florence has arrived.
More than 1.7 million people evacuated this week, leaving behind homes, schools and precious belongings.
Florence plowed into the Carolinas and lumbered slowly inland on Friday, knocking down trees, gorging rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leaving five people dead before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.
"Life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern to central Appalachians from western North Carolina into southwest Virginia through early next week".
Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches more. Almost 900,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas early on Friday, utility officials said.
The White House said Friday U.S. President Donald Trump will travel to areas hit by Hurricane Florence next week, once it has been determined that his travel would not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence is expected to be re-categorised as a tropical depression by the time it moves into the mid-Atlantic states and New England in the middle of next week.
She said that count is expected to increase significantly.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.