The center said the storm would dump as much as 40 inches (102 cm) of rain along coastal areas of the Carolinas, as well as up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia.
Forecasters warned that drenching rains of anywhere from 1 to 3½ feet as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.
Storm surge could be as high as 11 feet in parts of North Carolina, prompting officials to closely watch the rise of rivers in the eastern part of the state.
"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quinton Washington said.
There had been 3 confirmed deaths from the storm and several others were being investigated to determine if they were storm-related, he said. The large size of the tree made it hard, Wilmington Fire Department Chief Jon Mason said during a Friday afternoon press conference.
The father was taken to hospital, reportedly in a critical condition. "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was", he said.
Roy Cooper said another person was killed in Lenoir County, reports WTVD.
He said flooding will continue for days and the full magnitude of the hurricane is unknown.
With rivers rising toward record levels, thousands of people were ordered to evacuate for fear the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.
North Carolina Feels First Bite Of Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence has now been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, with wind speeds at a destructive 110 miles per hour. A ideal storm of unfortunate circumstances means Florence will likely be catastrophic for parts of the Southeast.
Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team using a phone app to locate people in distress.
"Great job FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement - not easy, very risky, tremendous talent".
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with storm-struck states and is ready to respond to any breaches, a spokeswoman, Maggie Sauerhage, said. Many properties within the mumble are now now not willing to handle the extensive flood of water introduced in by a storm surge, she urged World News on Thursday.Here's what the predicted 4-metre storm surge appears cherish. "We are deeply concerned about the inland flooding".
A flash flood emergency is in place and numerous water rescues are underway in Goldsboro and Princeton, North Carolina as widespread flooding continues to ravage the state.
Robert Simmons Jr. and his kitten "Survivor" are rescued from floodwaters in New Bern, N.C., Friday.
Animal feeding operations above a certain size need to be "designed and operated to handle the rainfall and runoff from 25-year 24-hour storms", Sauerhage said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters.
A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.
Utility officials say almost 900,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas on Friday and more were expected to lose power. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had around 7 inches (18 centimeters).
In Wilmington, near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows were broken. 61-year-old Amber Dawn Lee was killed late Friday when her vehicle struck a tree that had fallen across the highway. "We're going to have to have patience, we're going to have to be careful and we're going to have to deal with a lot of water".
Mason Tarr said he spent the night at a friend's house but didn't sleep well.