Six sheriff's officers came to his house to rescue him Friday morning, but he didn't need to leave since the water was dropping by then.
Emergency officials warned residents that the peril had probably not passed, as the storm continued to dump torrential rain. The National Hurricane Center says a sustained wind of 55 miles per hour (89 kph) and a gust to 68 miles per hour (109 kph) were reported in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
Billy Sample, a resident stuck in the town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, said Friday night: "The height of the storm didn't feel as bad as it is now". "But I think we're ready".
Florence had been a category three hurricane with 120mph winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a category one hurricane before coming ashore. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).
"We won't be out of danger", he said.
"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence.
Major river flooding expected to continue into early next week.
But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. "Right now it's too early to say if anyone should be getting rid of their supplies just yet". CORRECTING GRAMMAR AND TYPO IN CITY NAME People are rescued by members of the U.S. Army during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.
"We've got some damage that's occurring", he said.
Almost 900,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas early on Friday, utility officials said.
With the brunt of the storm yet to come, a gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, a city near the coast, was already recording 10 feet (3 meters) of inundation, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
It's unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.
Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.
There's still a threat from rising tides, Risty-Davis says.
At least four crooks were busted near Wilmington, where the powerful storm forced residents to evacuate - creating a looter paradise of empty buildings, local cops told WWAY News. Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible 9-foot storm surge as the Category 2 hurricane approaches the United States. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".
The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.
The city of New Bern issued a curfew Friday morning, effective from 7 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday "upon any public street, alley or roadway or upon public property".
FlightAware expects the number of cancellations to rise, although "the limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", spokeswoman Sara Orsi said in a statement.
"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount of rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center. "I was born and raised here and been through every storm the last 30 years, but this one seems to be doing more damage than we expected".
Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to drop torrential rain across the state as the system moves into SC. At the same time, some areas can see up to 15 inches of rain, with a few places experiencing up to 30 inches.
As Florence moves further inland over the coming days, the storm is expected to gradually weaken. Water rescues were also underway, although it was hard to know how many had occurred. When Hurricane Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell - and combined with high tide, made for unsafe flooding. Thousands of soldiers from their National Guard forces have been mobilized.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster asked people to remain patient during a last-minute news conference before Hurricane Florence begins to impact the state. "If you live in an area near a river, the peaks can occur much later". That advisory came out on August 30, when Florence was developing near the Cabo Verde Islands across the Atlantic.