"If you live in a floodplain and planned on staying, you might need to reevaluate", said Joel Cline, a North Carolina native and meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center. "That's why we've been preaching to people that you have to get away from the water". "It's not anywhere", North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said on Saturday.
Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm later, its winds weakened to 60 mph (95 kph) as it moved forward at 5 mph (7 kph) about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west northwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. "Roads are closed in many places and more are closing even as we speak".
When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell - and combined with high tide, made for risky flooding.
The death toll is seven and is expected to rise.
The figure included a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house, while a sixth fatality occurred in SC.
The body of a 77-year-old man, also in Kinston, was found by his family at his home, and it is believed he died when he was blown down after going outside to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.
The storm was also a factor in the death of a woman who suffered a heart attack since emergency crews couldn't reach her due to a fallen tree, as The Wall Street Journalreported.
So far: almost 32.5 inches (82.5 centimeters) of rain was reported in Oriental, North Carolina.More news: Storm Florence prompts Trump to declare a disaster
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.
More than 800,000 homes and businesses have lost power and Mr Cooper said the danger from flooding would linger for days. Electricity remained out for much of the city, known for its historic mansions, with power lines lying across roads like wet strands of spaghetti.
"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them you are risking your life", Gov. Roy Cooper said.
New Bern, home to approximately 30,000 people, sits about 37 miles northeast of Jacksonville on the banks of the Neuse River.
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. Thursday, a CNN team in the area watched as the water spilled over the edge of the river and flooded Union Point Park in a matter of hours. That means the storm could easily drop 40 inches of rain in some spots.
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.
In New Bern, North Carolina, the National Weather Service said there was 10ft of water. "Nobody expected this", a rescued resident, Tom Ballance, toldThe Weather Channel. According to Roberts, citizen volunteers with their own boats have offered to help the city coordinate rescues.
Tornadoes remain a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC".
"It's not often that we have to prepare for a hurricane in the mountains, but we are doing so on our campus", Jason Marshburn, the director of safety and emergency management at Appalachian State University in Boone, wrote in a letter to students and faculty members.