It is forecast to crawl through SC into Saturday before turning west and then north across the western Carolinas and toward the Ohio Valley by Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper described the hurricane as likely to "continue its violent grind for days" and described the severity of the downfalls as a "1,000 year event".
The National Hurricane Center described Florence's path as a wobble around southeastern North Carolina.
As Florence first broke on land yesterday 90mph winds struck the coastal areas, but as the storm system moved across land it was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm.
The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas. 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.
A member of the U.S. Coast Guard walks down Mill Creek Road checking houses after tropical storm Florence hit Newport North Carolina, on Saturday, September 15, 2018. The city said two FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more were on the way.
A slowing tropical storm Florence continues to creep along the Carolinas today.
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A mother and baby were killed after a large tree fell on their home in Wilmington, while in Pender County a woman died of a heart attack after storm debris prevented paramedics from reaching her.
North Carolina utilities have estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.
The reporter, Mike Seidel, was reporting from Wilmington, N.C., Friday afternoon, where he was shown hunched over and appearing to brace against a strong wind.
With rivers rising toward record levels, thousands of people were ordered to evacuate for fear the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.
Forecasters said the storm will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a sharp rightward swing to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of the week. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated.
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).
"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..." Rescue crews used boats to carry more than 360 people from rising water, while many of their neighbors awaited help.