The Cajun Navy, a Louisiana-based group of private boat owners whose role proved pivotal in Texas during Hurricane Harvey, had rescued more than 150 people by Friday alone.
The figure included a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house, while a sixth fatality occurred in SC. Rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds of people trapped by the rising waters.
But the wind is not the main threat to people and property from the storm; it's thestorm surgeandrainfall, which combined have caused serious flooding in the low-lying coastal regions of the Carolinas.
Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to more than 840,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.
Storm surges - the bulge of ocean water pushed ashore by the hurricane - were as high as 10 feet, backing up onto rivers already swollen by almost two feet of rain.
A mother and infant were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a tree fell on their home. 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.
Properties within one mile of the river were hastily evacuated on Saturday.
She said she called 911, but no one came.
The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.More news: Why Meghan Markle has been going on secret 'incognito' trips to London
The storm is still leaving a path of destruction across the two states, despite its top sustained wind speeds weakening to 72km/h. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. With Florence, it'll be the same amount of rainfall in three days. Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches (58 centimeters) of rain by Friday night with more torrents on the way. Other communities got well over a foot (30 centimetres).
The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.
Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.
"The slow motion of the storm will make this a very prolonged flood event", Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said in a briefing. The storm was 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. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimetres) of water, he calculated.
On Saturday, its streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.
These things went viral and here are of few of them. Rivers will continue to rise days after the rain has stopped, he said.
"It's the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help, and you can't do anything", she said. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU". Seventy people had to be pulled from a collapsing hotel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were hoping to be rescued. Though Florence did not arrive with winds as violent as once feared, forecasters got the storm surge and rainfall correct. Eudy and his family stayed home in New Bern in part to protect their house.
"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".