A mother and her baby died when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. As of Friday morning, there were upwards of 20,000 people in 157 shelters across the state of North Carolina, and that number will only continue to climb as rescue efforts are now underway.
"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour (155 kph) winds, Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.
As it moves inland, the storm is expected to bring its high winds and intense rain bands across the southeastern corner of North Carolina and a large chunk of SC. The hurricane had the brothers slightly anxious of storm surge, but they didn't believe there would be horrific damage.
As the storm moves into hilly terrain, it's also expected to unleash catastrophic and potentially deadly flash flooding and possibly mud slides, the hurricane center warned. Those numbers will only rise as the slow-moving storm hovers over the region through at least Saturday (Sept. 15), according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Duke Energy said in a tweet that they anticipate 1 to 3 million outages across the Carolinas, adding that restoration in the hardest-hit communities could take weeks.
North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.
A state of emergency was declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend.More news: Ariana Grande Posts Heartbreaking Statement About Mac Miller
More news: IPhone Xr Release Date & Pre-Order Details
More news: SpaceX Signs its First Private Passenger to Fly 'Round the Moon
Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".
The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rainfall on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters). The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.
Both rivers overflowed their banks, flooding homes, stores and streets and trapping many people in their houses.
Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.
Earlier Friday, the Wilmington Police said they were responding to this incident.
The Cape Fear river crested at 8.27 feet about 3:30 p.m., setting a new record and by Wednesday, the Maccamaw River may climb to 17.1 feet, the National Weather Service's Wilmington office reported, just shy of its record.
Roy Cooper, governor for North Carolina, said: "The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's going to get worse".