Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the US could get at least 3 inches of rain from Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably receiving at least a foot.
In Morehead City, Brooke Kittrell rode out the storm Thursday and Friday with her boyfriend aboard their docked boat, hoping it didn't break loose and slam something. "And remember that rivers keep on rising even after the rain stops".
A weather station in Atlantic Beach recorded a total of 12.73 inches for a 24-hour period. The bridge into town is blocked off because the water is too deep to drive through.
It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, but stronger wind gusts have been reported.
Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.
The NHC also warns of "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding" through early next week.
Rains are expected to be quite a real hazard from the storm, as it will have a slow movement towards SC before it turns north.
Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour winds, Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.
Video shows weatherman exaggerating Hurricane Florence wind force
Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. The father was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries.
Forecasters say the center of Hurricane Florence is hovering just inland near Cape Fear, North Carolina.
According to reports the cyclone has finally arrived on Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.
"There is some damage. but it is still standing strong". Federal officials had said midweek they weren't concerned about that facility or five other nuclear plants in the storm's path, calling them "hardened".
Some residents ignored calls to evacuate.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for.
The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.
Officials urged residents there to take shelter at the highest points of their homes, including rooftops.
We've come a long way from Michael Fish, that's for sure. "So since we can't find anything within our means. we've opted to stay".
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In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods. "We didn't know where to go", she said.
Browning said she had started a GoFundMe campaign in case repairs are needed for the family home.
Florence has caused the evacuation of some 1.5 million people with millions more likely to see some impact from the howling winds. At least three people were killed.
"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management.
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.
"The worst of the storm is not yet here, but these are early warnings of the days to come", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. She retreated and was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited assistance.
In Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina, Mikey Zalloum of Uncle Mikey's Brick Oven Pizza sweated as he worked feverishly to make pies Thursday night.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
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This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence on the eastern coast of the United States on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Steady organization resulted in the formation of a tropical depression, environmental conditions tore the storm apart, and Florence degraded to a tropical storm later.