Some 11 million people live in the areas that were under storm watches and warnings as of Friday, and many meteorologists have made an ominous connection between the behavior of Florence and last year's Hurricane Harvey, which blanketed much of the Houston area with devastating floodwaters.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches. "This is a monumental disaster for our state".
Tailgaters only had one choice for a college football game Saturday in the Carolinas and Virginia.
More than a dozen rivers across North Carolina were at major flood stage on Monday or threatening to rise to critical levels.
The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The Duplin County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page on Saturday that two people died due to "flash flooding and swift water on roadways". "Please don't make yourself someone who needs to be rescued", he said.
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In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.
Southeast North Carolina has taken the brunt of the storm thus far, with several areas suffering through flood emergencies, which continued to worsen overnight Friday in places like Jacksonville.
"We know it's time to go", Bostic told CNN.
Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of almost 120,000 people. Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash were displaced at the Sutton Plant and that contaminated storm water likely flowed into the plant's cooling pond. "We're going to get through this".
The Northeast Cape Fear River flooded there after Hurricane Floyd, destroying her original home.
In Hampstead, North Carolina, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest found their path blocked by downed trees.
5 dead in Hurricane Florence, including mom and infant
Areas from Wilmington through Fayetteville to Charlotte will experience 500-year to 1,000-year flood events, he said. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". "We all know that". "But I think we're ready".
Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order lifting evacuation orders for Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester and the Edisto Beach area of Colleton County effective at noon Saturday.
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that Florence, which has been downgraded to a tropical depression, continues to dump heavy rain on parts of North Carolina and northeastern SC.
The National Weather Service said there is an "elevated risk for landslides" in North Carolina. Forecasters said another 1½ feet could fall by the end of the weekend.
Kim Adams wades through waist-deep floodwaters at her home in Southport, North Carolina.
President Donald Trump is pictured speaking during a Congressional Medal of Honor Society Reception in the East Room of the White House.
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Basketball great Michael Jordan, who grew up in North Carolina and owns the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, and new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper are providing relief to those affected by Florence.