More than 430,000 people in North and SC are without power, and water is rising along the coast, where people in some towns have experienced dramatic rescues due to the towering storm surge.
USA power companies said more than 870,000 homes and businesses, mostly in North Carolina and SC, were without power on Saturday after Florence hit the Southeast coast.
Government aid can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-priced loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles. Hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water.
New Bern, the city where Pepsi was invented in a drugstore, was still experiencing winds in the 70 miles per hour range Friday afternoon. The storm will dump rain in the Carolinas through the weekend before reaching the Ohio Valley.
"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said. In nearby Onslow County, three US Coast Guard helicopters were helping with rescue missions Saturday, officials said.
Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern SC...an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches.
The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers. The previous record of 24.06 inches was set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
Downtown New Bern, where the Trent and Neuse rivers converge, is completely underwater.
"The infrastructure is going to break", Long said Thursday morning. The rains are anticipated to continue for days, and flooding is likely to worsen as more rivers spill over their banks. We know how to manage expectations. "We just want people to be very careful".
Tornados are also expected in eastern Northern Carolina.
"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the NHC said.
About 70 people in Jacksonville, North Carolina, had to be moved to safety from a hotel whose structural integrity was threatened by the hurricane.
More than 22,000 patients evacuated from hospitals in SC.
Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of sea water.
The baby's father was rushed to the hospital to be treated for his injuries, police said.
"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management.
"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rain could trigger landslides in the west of his state. Another woman died in Pender County, North Carolina, after suffering a medical condition. They later clarified those deaths were not related to Florence. "I should stay in my house, where I have water and food". "We have an old jail building, and there was a sally port where vehicles could drive down into it", she says.
As they waited for emergency workers, they heard neighbors screaming for help. "And it's basically a big hole and water did go into that hole, but we are safe in this facility".
"It's the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help, and you can't do anything", she said. A tall tree came down over the back of his tin roof and across the siding.
FEMA teams were employing boats in the rescues and were determining which cases were the most severe.
The states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, as well as Washington D.C., declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm.
Florence is one of three named storms in the Atlantic.
The National Hurricane Centre said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 metres) of inundation.