The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and into the northeastern coast of SC in spots.
The hurricane center said the storm will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.
A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the US for the first time.
National Weather Service Though Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a category 2 hurricane, it's still caused storm surges up to 10 feet in some areas, with the worst of the flooding still expected to come.
The slow-moving storm, downgraded from a hurricane Friday evening, will continue to weaken as it moves further inland Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center, which anticipates it will become a tropical depression by tonight.
And the storm is still expected to bring catastrophic winds, rain, storm surges and flooding, the National Hurricane Center briefing said.
A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm would move further inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern SC on Friday and Saturday.
Florence had been a category three hurricane with 120mph winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a category one hurricane before coming ashore. "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was, â€ he said. â€œThis is a 500- or 1,000-year event. â€Eudy´s family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said".
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In the latest five-day forecast, the entire state is under the "cone of uncertainty" for Wednesday. Hawai'i County will not be distributing sandbags until active flooding occurs.
The water "is as high as it's ever been and waves are breaking on my point, which is normally grass", said Copeland, a freelance photographer for The Associated Press.
That kind of scenario is likely to repeat itself all over communities in Eastern North Carolina, as swollen rivers flood towns and the pouring rain adds to the misery.
Power outages are widespread, affecting over 740,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion liters), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).
The airport was almost empty Friday morning, as thousands of passengers had already changed their flight schedules.
"You have water coming onshore and you can rainfall coming down that's trying to move out", he said.
The mayor said at least 4,200 homes and 300 businesses sustained damage from flooding. States of emergency have already been declared in both North and SC.
Another person died in a storm-related death in Pender County, North Carolina, according to a spokesperson, when downed trees prevented emergency units from reaching a woman with a medical condition who called for help.
The city of New Bern tweeted to its residents early Friday morning, "We have 2 out-of-state FEMA teams here for swift water rescue".
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.