"There is probably not a county or a person that will not be affected in some way by this very massive and violent storm".
As the rough winds toppled trees and power lines Friday, power was knocked out to more than 700,000 North Carolina customers.
At least five people have died, including a mother and her baby, who were in a house in Wilmington when it was struck by a falling tree. The father was also home, and he was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment.
As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that Fema and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted at his home while attempting to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, Dail said.
A new tool created by the NHC helps visualize how devastating the storm surge could be.
Cooper told ABC News' David Muir that residents should continue to shelter in place, even though Florence is no longer a hurricane, because roads are covered in debris and water, and rescues are still taking place in coastal areas.
"We're in God's hands", said Rick Foreman, pastor at West Lumberton Baptist Church, as the Lumber River steadily rose Friday and local residents filled sandbags. "My wife's in a panic right now".
New Bern resident Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch. "We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband.
Earlier, he said: "Please hear my message "We can not underestimate this storm". The governor's office warned of "1,000-year rainfall totals".
Player said that if sustained winds hit 60 miles per hour, emergency dispatches will be halted until the winds die down, because the safety risk to first responders would be too great.
Even While Touting Own Accomplishments, Trump Can't Help But Jab Obama's Speech
Obama's appearance on behalf of Congressional candidates upset Vice President Mike Pence. "And I'm happy he wants to do it again". The midterms in November will give Americans the opportunity to "restore some sanity in our politics", Obama said. "It's radical.
The storm made landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the gloom of dawn Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.
Florence is forecast to move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area Thursday night and Friday.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers.
North Carolina's Newport and Morehead City have seen about 19 inches of rain so far.
Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region.
The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.
Tropical Storm Florence keeps drenching the central Carolinas, with an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain expected before it finally swings north over the Appalachian Mountains and into the Ohio Valley on Monday.
A number of homes in North and SC at risk of flooding during Tropical Storm Florence, even though they sit outside of federally designated flood zones.
It has become likely that the storm will reverse course early next week and turn back north toward West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, albeit significantly weakened. But one Weather Channel meteorologist was caught on Friday exaggerating the storm's power.
Super Typhoon Mangkhut tore through the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday packing winds of more than 200 km per hour (124 mph) along with torrential rain, killing three people and causing floods, landslides and power outages.