Tornadoes remain a threat, with the NHC saying that 'a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC'.
Hurricane Florence made landfall on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina just after 6 am CDT as a Category 1 hurricane.
"Very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and feared splintering trees would pummel her house. They died when a large tree came down over the back of their home, crushing and killing them while leaving the child's father hospitalized Friday morning.
Firefighters in Wilmington gathered outside the house to pray for the family.
People walk on a local street as water from Neuse River starts flooding houses upon Hurricane Florence coming ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, US, September 13, 2018. Also, one person was killed while plugging in a generator, and a man was knocked to the ground while outside and died, authorities said.
An 81-year-old man fell and struck his head while packing to evacuate Wayne County, NC on Friday, according to a release from the NC State Emergency Response team. Residents mostly heeded police commands to stay home and off the streets. His body was discovered by family members.
Wind gusts paired with historic rainfall totals brought down trees in almost every area of the Cape Fear region. Emergency crews also rescued an Onslow family from their home where a tree fell through the roof, Jordan said.
"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said.
"I'm anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said.
"You can't get over till we have power and we have sewer up and running", said the retired teacher and real estate agent, who rode out the hurricane in an inland hotel.
Officials in several states declared a state of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas were still recovering from summer storms. The couple died in a house fire in Cumberland County, N.C. on Friday.
"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.
Cline said July was the wettest ever in that part of North Carolina, and the water table rose 21 inches higher than normal. A preliminary investigation has shown that the deaths of Pauly Lewis and his wife Alicia Lewis are the result of a murder/suicide. No other information was given. The National Weather Service said the floods likely will last for weeks.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm will eventually push westward and make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic region and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.
The defended President Donald Trump's earlier tweets claiming Democrats had inflated the death toll stemming from Hurricane Maria previous year, saying he was "responding to the liberal media and San Juan Mayor [Carmen Yulîn Cruz] who sadly, have tried to exploit the devastation by pushing out a constant stream of misinformation and false accusations".
Its storm surge and the prospect of 1 to 3 1/2 feet of rain were considered a bigger threat than its winds, which had dropped off from an alarming 140 miles per hour - Category 4 - earlier in the week.
"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
That was the year Hurricane Fran made landfall near Wilmington as a Category 3 storm. It's since slowed down even more than it had been - moving west at just 2 miles per hour.
At 11 a.m., the centre of Florence was about 20 miles (30 kilometres) southwest of Wilmington, its winds down to 80 mph (130 kmh), according to the hurricane centre. Wind gusts topped 100 miles per hour in Wilmington reaching 105 miles per hour. As the system continues its way through our neighbor to the south, its dropping inches of rain upon the Piedmont Triad. Floodwaters submerged US Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river. The Carteret Country Sheriff's Office confirmed that two deaths initially reported as a result of Florence in North Carolina were a result of an apparent murder-suicide.