"More people die from storm surge than any proponent of hurricanes", Kottlowsk tells TIME.
Almost 814,000 homes in North Carolina and 170,000 in SC are without power.
Cooper said many people in his state who may think the storm has missed them have not yet seen its actual threat to their regions, advising residents inland that rivers will rise days after the rain has stopped. "We still have about 100 that want to be rescued and we have about 1,200 in the shelters", Mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN.
Members of Onslow County emergency look to see if a passenger was still in a auto that was overtaken by flooding on US Route 17 outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina on September 15, 2018 during Tropical Storm Florence.
Mother Lesha Murphy-Johnson and her baby, Zac, were killed after being trapped inside their home in Wilmington when a tree fell onto the roof at around 9.30am on Friday.
Elsewhere in North Carolina, a man was knocked to the ground while outside and died.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of Florence's landfall in parts of North and SC, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm.
But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph). The figure for SC was 170,000.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, Florence was centered about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, moving west at 2 mph (4 kph), not even as fast as a person can walk. The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach.
Moss said a tornado watch remains in effect for counties to the south and east of the Triangle until 7 a.m. and tropical storm warnings remain in effect for a large portion of the state. Forecasters say it could become a depression by Saturday night.
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About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm.
Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.
Jacob Fernandez (left) and Josh Fernandez play around on the tree that fell near their home as Hurricane Florence passed through the area on Friday in Bolivia, N.C.
Although the storm is beginning to move away, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said the Triangle should still expect heavy rain for the next 24 hours.
Gov. Henry McMaster on Saturday gave most S.C. school districts the go-ahead to reopen in the coming week after Tropical Storm Florence passes.
People wait in the rain to enter a Waffle House a day after Hurricane Florence hit the area, on September 15, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.
At least five people have died in storm conditions in North Carolina, according to authorities.
"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard that, trying to get out, we got thrown into trailers". "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".
FEMA teams were employing boats in the rescues and were determining which cases were the most severe.
"We've got a massive amount of cleanup to do", Saffo said. She was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited help.
"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.
Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house.