Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat.
Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising. People in the Carolinas had the daytime hours Thursday to complete their final preparations to ride out or escape the storm.
At 2300 EDT (0300 GMT), the NHC said Florence had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 km), and was slowly drifting westward over SC.
"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves", the update said.
The centre said the storm would dump as much as 40 inches (102 cm) of rain along coastal areas of the Carolinas, as well as up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia.
Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown are was under water by Friday afternoon.
At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters with more facilities being opened.
Near the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington, coal ash leaked from a Duke Energy landfill.
Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.
Does it matter that Florence is moving slowly?The storm is then expected to turn westward and then northward through the Carolinas and to the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said.
As if that weren't enough, an quake also hit SC about 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Hurricane-force winds and inland flooding also is a concern.
"There is going to be a lot of rain".
Cooper also points the worst of the storm is yet to come.
The National Weather Service said as much as 18cm of rain had fallen overnight in some coastal areas. SC saw 18.51 inches of rain from Hurricane Jerry in 1995.
Weather and emergency officials are warning people in Florence's path not to interpret maps showing the location of the storm's center, or reports that it's losing top wind strength, as signs that they should relax. At least 1 million people were ordered to evacuate along the coast. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.
He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out.
Forecasters say the combination of a life-threatening storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as 2 miles (3 km).
Storm surge isn't the only worry associated with the storm, either.
But forecasters have warned that the widening storm - and its likelihood of lingering around the coast day after day - will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours.
Helene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Thursday.
Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up-to-date with Florence's expected track and impacts to the U.S.
Yet another tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Thursday night.
By 5 p.m. on Thursday, the Governor and other officials delivered their final briefing before the eye of the storm was set to strike.