The Washington Post reports that, according to preliminary reports submitted to the National Weather Service, Florence's 30 inches of rainfall in North Carolina has broken the statewide rainfall record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 of 24.06 inches.
Some towns have already had more than 60-centimetres of rain, and forecasters warn that totals could hit one-metre.
As Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical storm, continued to chart a path of destruction across North and SC on Saturday, school gymnasiums morphed into makeshift shelters for thousands of people displaced from their homes in nearby flood-prone areas.
"This is one of the most devastating hurricanes we've ever had", Mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN.
That's how hard the wind gusted in North Carolina's New River inlet. Dozens more were rescued from a collapsed motel.
A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.
Florence flattened trees, buckled buildings and crumpled roads.
Firefighters came together in prayer during an operation to remove a tree that fell on a home in Wilmington, NC.
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Along with this projection, NHC warned of "life-threatening" storm surges and floods throughout both North Carolina and SC . South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is giving another update on the state's response to Tropical Storm Florence.
A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.
Dolphins have been seen swimming close to the shoreline in high water caused by Hurricane Florence.
Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.
Florence's top sustained winds have weakened to 80kmh but it is projected to bring further catastrophic flash flooding.
Florence is projected to migrate at barely more than a walking pace across northern SC, passing close to the city of Florence - truly - on Saturday.
The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most unsafe place to be as Florence moved ashore.
But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. The southeast town of Newport, N.C., reported a rainfall total of nearly 24 inches as of midnight Saturday.
Here is the newest information on Tropical Storm Florence as it lands on the East Coast.
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As much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain could fall on coastal areas in North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said. Seventy people had to be pulled from a collapsing hotel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were hoping to be rescued.
Cline said July was the wettest ever in that part of North Carolina, and the water table rose 21 inches higher than normal.
Flood waters from the Trent River inundate a park in Pollocksville, North Carolina on September 14, 2018 during Hurricane Florence.
Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of environmental havoc from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. The death not related to the hurricane and it is under investigation.
"Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood".
A video of a USA weather reporter channel made rounds on the social media, showing him apparently exaggerating the force of Hurricane Florence, but the same live coverage showed it was not actually the case.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion litres), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimetres).
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A representative for Waffle House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. Meanwhile, Waffle House's main Twitter account had a message for the approaching storm: "Hey Flo".