As much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain could fall on coastal areas in North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians late this week into early next week".
With one grueling day behind them, the Carolinas on Friday grappled with rising water and cascading misery from a deadly and agonizingly slow-moving Tropical Storm Florence expected to linger through the weekend.
Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 30 centimetres to 1 metre as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.
The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph).
North Carolina utilities have estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.
The deadly effects of the storm are a result of Florence slowing down in its path, pummelling areas with monumental rains and severe wind. On Saturday morning, Carteret County Emergency Services confirmed that two people died in the county.
More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. A town spokesman said between 60 and 75 people were awaiting rescue on Saturday. Forecasters said this onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, however, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.
Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in. That should spell some relief for the inundated areas of Onslow county, but unfortunately puts the city of Wilmington, southeast coastal communities of North Carolina and northeast areas of SC in the line of fire instead. They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades.
Storm surge was as high as 10 feet on the Neuse River, he said.
Florence had been a Category-3 hurricane on Thursday but dropped to Category-1 before coming ashore.
Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms. Trump, who spoke with state and local officials on Friday, plans a visit to the region next week.
Fisher said the hospital has about 1,800 employees, including medical and support staff, stationed at the hospital during the storm.
Others were at home hoping for the best.
Tran told Insider that her Tinder matches' bios included pickup lines like "Got evacuated from SC so let's hurricane and chill?"
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