The storm's extremely slow speed means the risk of catastrophic flooding remains high across both states.
The state Emergency Management Division estimated more than 170,000 South Carolinians were without power before lunchtime Saturday. It was moving west at 3 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said. Coast Guard members said choppers had made about 50 rescues in and around New Bern and Jacksonville as of noon.
- A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says.
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. While the amount is unofficial, it would shatter the old record of 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
In one piece of good news authorities said that 16 wild ponies of hurricane-struck Ocracoke Island, located off the North Carolina coast, were safe.
In North Carolina alone, there were 777,937 power outages as of 1:20 p.m. ET, according to North Carolina's Department of Public Safety.More news: FEMA To Test Emergency Text Messages From Trump
Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find carp flopping in their backyard near the porch stairs.
As we get closer toward the middle of next week, Florence's remnants should be near or spreading across our area. "We're going to get through this". We got thrown into mailboxes.
Anxiety also reigned Saturday in Lumberton, a North Carolina city that was submerged for days after 2016's Hurricane Matthew.
The riverfront city of 30,000 people has been deluged by 304cm of water, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported. The storm has already killed five people and battered homes along the Carolina coast.
Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, could be in for heavy rains as Florence plods inland. The woman's husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.
"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Gov Cooper said. They later clarified those deaths were not related to Florence.More news: Josh Gordon rumors: New England Patriots 'doing research' on Cleveland Brown receiver
To hammer home the point, The Weather Channel created graphics showing just how unsafe storm surges can be, explaining how these turbulent waters can include detritus, chemicals and even electricity.
A statue reaches above Florence's floodwaters in North Carolina. As they waited for emergency workers, they heard neighbors screaming for relief.
In all, the weather service says the greatest amounts of rain from Florence are likely in the southwestern portions of the region. Local media said she suffered a heart attack. Sooner or later, a volunteer rescue team that had arrived in North Carolina from in came with a ship and rescued them.
Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.
The Associated Press reports the storm may unload 18 trillion gallons of rain on the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm from a category one hurricane, cascades of rain are pouring onto residential areas, filling the first floor of houses and causing cars to float along streets. Then it would swing to the northeast in the midst of subsequent week on a path to the Atlantic Ocean advance Nova Scotia, the keep it would per chance also be an extratropical low with gale-power winds.More news: Hurricane Florence Approach Swamps North And South Carolina