New Bern is a city along the Neuse River near the Atlantic coast, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m. Friday.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter. The father received injuries and were hospitalized for medical care.
As the rough winds toppled trees and power lines Friday, power was knocked out to more than 600,000 North Carolina customers. The National Hurricane Center says Florence is producing tropical storm-force wind gusts in Florence, South Carolina, about 60 miles from the coast.
Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls westward across the Carolinas all weekend.
"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said at a news conference Friday.
Florence's rain will bring 40 inches to some parts of the Carolinas, forecasters said. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".
The Carteret Country Sheriff's Office confirmed that two deaths initially reported as a result of Florence in North Carolina were a result of an apparent murder-suicide.
Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern SC could see 20 to 30 inches of rainfall; some isolated areas could see 40 inches.More news: Australians told to chop strawberries as police investigate needles found in fruit
The National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service is predicting "Major Flooding", its most severe classification, from south of the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina, to as as far south as the Waccamaw River near Myrtle Beach, SC.
The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.
In New Bern, where rescuers removed more than 100 people from rising waters, Sarah Risty-Davis is one of the residents who chose to ignore a mandatory evacuation order issued three days ago.
More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.
Video footage showed parking lots in the riverfront town of New Bern turn into shallow lakes of dirty gray water as heavy rain fell.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters). More than 20,000 people in North Carolina spent the night in emergency shelters Friday night.
"It's like a bomb has gone off", Zaytoun told "Good Morning America" Friday.