The numbers are expected to soar as the storm's winds and torrential rains sweep over more land. He said all roads leading to his neighborhood were blocked by fallen trees.
A satellite altimeter under the northeast quadrant, the strongest area of the storm, recorded the wave.
The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 12, 2018.
He warned that Florence could be "one of the biggest ever to hit the East Coast".
Rivers are rising on the north side of Hurricane Florence as the storm swirls counter-clockwise, pushing a surge of ocean water far in from the coast.
After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. The two-lane highway is the only route to the mainland other than ferries.
The National Hurricane Centre warned there would be "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.
Eudy's family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said. The city tweeted early September 14 that 150 people were awaiting rescue.
As Florence closed in, President Donald Trump and state and local officials urged residents in the path of the storm to evacuate before it was too late. "Little rough but we're all out", a tweet said. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light, Virginia for the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, and from Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.
About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters, and boats.
But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.
The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 21 miles per hour on September 14 morning in Columbia.
Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation of most of the state's coastline as the storm approaches. So far, floods as deep as 6.3 feet and wind gusts as fast as 105 miles per hour have been recorded.
"We will continue to do all we can to support our neighbors in the Southeast as we prepare for Hurricane Florence", Scott said in a prepared statement Wednesday. "(It's) called Mother Nature; you never know - but we know". Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power, and that restoring it could take weeks.
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.
Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (1m) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC.
Forecasters say the storm is likely to remain constant in strength, weakening only after the center of the storm moves inland. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The storm is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said early on Saturday.
A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.
"Typically, we see a stimulus effect that creates jobs and raises incomes for South Carolinians", said Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist at the University of SC.
Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing. In Hurricane Sandy in 2012, storm surge-induced flooding measured as high as 9 feet above ground in parts of NY and New Jersey, leading to billions of dollars in damages.