The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got over 30 inches and counting, eclipsing the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches on the state.
"Florence slowly weakening just inland over eastern SC but causing catastrophic flooding over North and SC", the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Saturday morning, after downgrading it from a hurricane to a tropical storm the previous day. Warnings were issued about the risk of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of North and SC as well as in Virginia.
It was initially unclear how many people ended up being rescued.
A pickup truck drives on a flooded road past a farm house that is surrounded by flooded fields from tropical storm Florence in Hyde County, NC., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. It is expected to continue to weaken over the weekend, but that does not mean that those in its path are out of danger. Flooding and "catastrophic/historic river flooding" will continue over much of the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center warned.
Up to 40 inches of rain and storm surges pushing water inland will produce catastrophic flash flooding, the National Hurricane Centre said.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.
More than a dozen rivers across North Carolina were at major flood stage on Monday or threatening to rise to critical levels.
In Swansboro, North Carolina, almost 34 inches of rain had fallen by Sunday afternoon and 20 other places in North Carolina had at least 20 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, Florence was inching west at 3 mph (6 kph), with its center located about 50 miles (85 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Numerous states in Florence's path have already experienced heavy rains this summer, leaving them water-logged and particularly vulnerable to flooding.
Video taken in several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through thigh-high water. It acknowledged there will seemingly be "flooding miles and miles inland".
As it moves near OH and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low.
As of noon, Emerald Isle had more than 23 inches (58 centimetres) of rain, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot (30 centimetres).
When Florence hit as a Category 1 hurricane early Friday, the community's rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop.
More than 1,000 houses were impacted in Cagayan province, where the storm first made landfall, with authorities in the town of Baggao saying they had lost with an emergency response team, said Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. Wilmington police tweeted that the father was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said. It's not yet clear how the sixth person died.
"And we're not done yet", Graham said, adding that some hard-hit areas could get an additional 15 to 20 inches because the storm was moving so slowly.
SC officials faced criticism after they refused to evacuate inmates from prisons in areas of the state being affected by Hurricane Florence. "Be extremely careful and stay alert".
The 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach scores of people besieged by rising water along a river.
At least five people, including a mother and her child, have been killed as Florence brings unending rain and storm surges to the region.
Householders were stranded in their cars, attics and on rooftops.
"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard that, trying to get out, we got thrown into trailers". The city remained without power on Friday night.