"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 west-central Virginia through early next week, as Florence moves slowly inland", the NHC statement read.
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.
The Cape Fear River has overrun its banks, allowing water to pour into the downtown area of Wilmington.
So far: almost 32.5 inches (82.5 centimeters) of rain was reported in Oriental, North Carolina.
"That's why I got this thing, to use in times like this", he said. A 78-year-old man connecting extension cords in the rain was electrocuted, according to Roger Dail, the Lenoir County director of emergency services.
The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix. A storm this powerful is exceedingly rare so far north on the east coast of the United States.
Boats are stacked up on each other in a marina as a result from Florence in New Bern, North Carolina.More news: How to watch Florence LIVE stream as FIERCE storm arrives
By Saturday morning, it had already dumped more than 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain, a record for North Carolina.
With the emergence of Florence, some place in the USA has been drenched because of a stalled hurricane for four years in a row, storm surge expert Hal Needham said.
"Were expecting additional rainfall across southeastern central into southern North Carolina and across Northern parts of SC where additional rainfall amounts that could exceed 10 inches".
"This is going to be a very trying period for the state", he said."We're liable to have flash floods, bridges and roads washed out".
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday.
The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.
In Kinston, a city southeast of Raleigh, two people died in the storm. She said that when tourists start returning Sunday morning, she's not sure they'll find what they need.More news: United States sanctions NKorean IT companies in China, Russia
Officials in SC said a 61-year-old woman died when her auto struck a tree that had fallen across a highway near the town of Union.
"The amount of water that comes out of hurricanes is certainly the most robust connection that we have", National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist Jim Kossin said. That could affect the infrastructure, bridges, residences, farms and other buildings, Dahler said.
Hurricane Florence is an nearly impossibly rare threat.
Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.
And dolphins were spotted closer than usual to shore near in Wilmington, North Carolina. On Friday afternoon, it was traveling at just 3 to 5 miles per hour, still near the coast.
The warmer air and water also makes storms more intense or stronger, Stott said.More news: Manafort Wants "No Cooperation" Plea Deal