By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.
Wildlife also found itself directly affected by Florence's floodwaters, including these deer seen swimming through neck-deep water.
Florence made landfall on the East Coast Friday morning with wind speeds of 195 miles per hour.
One potential road out was blocked as flooding forced the shutdown of a 26-kilometre stretch of Interstate 95, the main highway along the Eastern Seaboard.
Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.
It's a photo capturing hearts as police in Myrtle Beach police took a moment to save an American flag that was hanging from a snapped pole during Hurricane Florence.
Cpl. Nicholas Digregorio and his wife Danielle are stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and evacuated due to the hurricane. Pic.
CORRECTING GRAMMAR AND TYPO IN CITY NAME A family is stalled in water as they wait to be rescued during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.
"Were expecting additional rainfall across southeastern central into southern North Carolina and across Northern parts of SC where additional rainfall amounts that could exceed 10 inches".
The triple punch of falling rain, rising rivers and coastal storm surges was already triggering catastrophic floods. More than a dozen major rivers in the Carolinas and southern Virginia are forecast by the National Weather Service to reach flood stage, and some - including the Neuse, Pamlico, Lumber, Waccamaw, Northeast Cape Fear and the Pee Dee rivers - are expected to set flood records. The Neuse River rose rapidly, overcoming the streets of New Bern. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury.
The disaster area was expected to get about as much rain in three days as the 1999 Dennis and Floyd storms dropped in two weeks.
The guard has mobilized over 100 members and 35 shallow-water rescue boat teams. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.
Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.
It's moving very slowly, at about 2mph (3.2km/h).
The National Weather Service said flash flooding was expected to continue through the rest of Friday in New Bern and surrounding areas.
SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area.
In its initial onslaught along the coast, Florence buckled buildings, deluged entire communities and knocked out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses.
"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Gov Cooper said. "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was", he said.
Perry says his department has been in contact with power companies and gas pipeline operators.
Almost 3,000 people died in the aftermath of the storm, according to an estimate from researchers at Georgetown University that was adopted by the Puerto Rican government as the official death toll for the storm.
Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches (58 centimeters) of rain by Friday night with more torrents on the way.
Florence continues to bring rains and threaten lives on the east coast of the USA even after it was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm after making landfall.
The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.
About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.
The pair of dolphins swam near the battered coastline as the storm's waves and high winds raged around them.