By midnight, his rain gauge showed that he'd gotten 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain since midafternoon. "That's the second story of a house", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday, via CNN. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". Florence is going southwest after landfall.
Almost 900,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas early on Friday, utility officials said.
"The storm is wreaking havoc on our state", Cooper said during a briefing on the Category 1 storm, which made landfall about 7:15 a.m. near Wrightsville Beach.
South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.
Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of environmental havoc from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. Another man in the county who was checking on his dogs outside was killed in what his family thought was a wind-related death Friday morning, emergency officials said.
"The sun rose this morning on an extremely unsafe situation and it's getting worse", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, calling Florence a "thousand-year rain event". 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.
Amber Parker, spokesperson for Craven County, North Carolina, tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson that officials are happy to have daylight on their side Friday.
According to poweroutage.us, more than 500,000 customers in North Carolina and 50,000 in SC were without power on Friday morning, though the Weather Channel estimates up to 3 million customers could lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence.
The port city of Wilmington woke Friday to the sound of exploding electrical transformers with strong gusts throwing street signs and other debris as well as water in all directions, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the center of the storm.
But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.
Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.
There have been numerous calls for fallen trees, according to officials, however they are not aware of any others where people are trapped. "You have somewhat of a culture that it won't happen in New Bern and it has happened in New Bern".
"Help is on the way", said Mayor Outlaw.
The number of people still not rescued fell to about 40 by Friday afternoon, according to New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw. Forecasters said the onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.
Before Florence hit, millions of people were evacuated after mandatory evacuation orders were issued in multiple states, but there were still people who did not heed the order and were hoping for rescue as Florence began its assault.