Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of Florence's landfall in parts of North and SC, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm. "We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns".
More than 2 feet (60 centimeters) of rain had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on, with forecasters saying there could be an additional 1½ feet (45 centimeters) before Sunday is out.
Flash flooding and river flooding is likely, they warn. These rains are expected to produce "prolonged, significant river flooding".
In Wilmington, near where the eye of the hurricane touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows were broken. Some other parts of SC could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, forecasters said.
He said he believed that crews wouldn't be able to get to him as of Saturday morning, as floodwaters were chest-high. While the amount is unofficial, it would shatter the old record of 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
As rains inundate North Carolina due to Tropical Storm Florence, the state Department of Transportation is warning residents about rapidly deteriorating road conditions due to downed trees and flooding.
Dawn Baldwin Gibson, 47, a minister and private school founder who lives on a farm closer to the coast in nearby Pamlico County and runs a Facebook page about weather in eastern North Carolina, had evacuated to New Bern to stay with family, thinking it would be a safer spot. One was electrocuted while hooking up a generator and the other while checking on his dogs outside, emergency officials said.
At least four people have died, and authorities fear the toll will go higher as the tropical storm crawls westward Saturday across SC.
Another person died in a shelter at West Brunswick High School Thursday morning, however, their death was not related to the hurricane.
The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help. Fast moving waters proved otherwise.
Jennifer Morales, 20, her husband and their young son were also evacuated from their home.
New Bern resident Peggy Perry said she and three relatives were trapped inside her home. Jerry Higgins, the state's public safety spokesman says they moved inmates from six of their smaller correctional institutions and one drug treatment center for prisoners. Many of them are boat owners, who help rescue stricken flood victims.
Already, Ingram said they've arrested five people on suspicion of trying to break into abandoned cars, homes and businesses in Brunswick County, which is located along the shore just north of Myrtle Beach. The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising.
North Carolina's Harnett County has declared a mandatory evacuation along a river that's expected to rise to more than 17 feet above flood stage.
Volunteers and city workers filled sandbags this morning.
The national weather service is calling for "major to record river flooding", especially in those areas that received the heaviest rainfall, which includes all of New Hanover County and most of Pender and Brunswick counties.
The Navy says the aircraft will make their way back beginning Saturday, and the ships will start to return Sunday. With Florence, it'll be the same amount of rainfall in three days. But with half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it onshore.