Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 76 cm of rain, the US Geological Survey said. Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm and further downgraded to a tropic storm on Friday evening.
By Friday evening, the centre of the storm had moved to eastern SC, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.
Hurricane Florence is battering North Carolina with wild winds and a powerful storm surge. The hurricane had the brothers slightly anxious of storm surge, but they didn't believe there would be horrific damage.
The Triangle is under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Sunday. Residents should expect to see higher tides than usual on the James and York rivers, as well as possible flooding and beach erosion. The center of the storm is expected to maintain a westward track across southeastern North Carolina Friday and across eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday.
More than 700,000 people were left without power and millions more were warned by the governor of North Carolina that they were facing "an extremely risky situation".
In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped people, and Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer that about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media. The deaths also included that of a person killed while plugging in a generator, the governor's office said.
She said: "We're not only looking at a lot of rain for days but also hurricane-force winds that are going to last for the better part of today".
"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.
Some called on the weathercaster to issue a public apology, while others suggested the "performance" by Seidel, who seems to be deliberately standing in the wind, deserves an Oscar.
More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.
Kroger said it has shut down four stores in SC and suspended grocery pickup and/or delivery in six SC stores, eight Georgia stores and five Virginia stores. Storm surge could be up to 13 feet, pushing seawater as much as 2 miles inland. But with a storm surge putting pressure on water to head back inland and heavy rains swelling those rivers, widespread flooding is the result.
Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.
The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year. Like, it makes that John Cusack movie look like amateur hour.
"Well operate without power; we have candles. And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.
"This is our only home".
Another Wilmington resident said she did not want to leave because she was afraid to see what she would come back to after the storm.