The National Weather Service said the floods likely will last for weeks.
Some towns have endured more than two feet of rain and forecasters say that more than three feet of water could bring major flooding further inland in the coming days.
It may now be a tropical depression, but Florence is still dumping huge amounts of rain. Fayetteville residents living within one mile of the Cape Fear river and the Little River were told to evacuate by 3 p.m. local time, due to the potential for river flooding. "So we know it's time to go".
North Carolina is bracing for what could be the next stage of the still-unfolding disaster: widespread, catastrophic river flooding from Florence. "The streets are nearly like you need gondolas".
Governor Cooper has cautioned people in affected areas against leaving safe shelters to return home to inspect damage to their homes.
Sixty-seven-year-old Sadie Marie Holt was among those rescued Friday.
The storm has killed five so far, and officials expect the death toll to rise.
"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is unbelievable and a blessing", Rebekah Roth said yesterday while walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood.
Utility crews worked to restore electricity even as flood waters inundated whole communities.
"We'll get through this".
In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, Florence overwhelmed the town of 30,000, with the downtown area under water. His state has already endured record rainfall, with much more forecast to come.
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It afforded him a more relaxing race than expected - heat aside - given Ferrari's advantage during practice this weekend. Despite the night-time start, the temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) and the humidity intense.
Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and on social media. A 78-year-old man was killed while trying to connect extension cords outside in the rain, ABC News reported, citing Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail. "There's a lot left to this even though the winds have died down and it's inland". A 61-year-old woman died Friday night when her vehicle struck a tree that fell during the storm, state emergency officials said. "Don't drive across standing or moving water".
It is feared that more communities could become deluged as the storm crawls west at only 3km/h.
Florence "has been most unpredictable, but what has been predictable and steady is our concern for heavy rain and flooding", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. "Be extremely careful and stay alert".
As Florence lingers over east SC, officials are keeping an eye on areas prone to flooding.
Meanwhile, some three-quarters of a million customers - homes and businesses alike - are without power in North and SC.
More than 800,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state. On Friday afternoon, it was traveling at just 3 to 5 miles per hour, still near the coast.
The coast has been battered, and the mountains appear to be next. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had about 7 inches. Doll said, based on doppler radar estimates, some areas will accumulate up to 25 inches of rainfall.
Officials in New Bern said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon. "I think we're OK".
Authorities have set up 89 emergency operation centers throughout the state.
The National Hurricane Center says excessive amounts of rain are still being dumped in North Carolina and the effect is expected to be "catastrophic".