Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.
The small town of Hamlet in Richmond County, North Carolina, for example, is full of toxic emitters: within its borders are a chicken processing plant, an energy company and a wood pellet manufacturer that broke ground within the past few years.
That's Jay Barnes. He's a hurricane historian and has literally written the book on the history of North Carolina's hurricanes. In 2013, one of the most powerful storms on record, Typhoon Haiyan, killed 7,300 people and displaced more than 5 million when it swept across the islands of the central Philippines.
It's a photo capturing hearts as police in Myrtle Beach police took a moment to save an American flag that was hanging from a snapped pole during Hurricane Florence.
Just after midnight, the station tweeted that everyone had safely evacuated.
A day after Florence blew ashore in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and other rescue crews used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to reach scores of people trapped on rooftops or otherwise caught in the floodwaters.
In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.
The storm is likely to bring significant rain to the Carolinas, where some places could see upwards of 20 inches, the update said.
As Florence lingers over east SC, officials are keeping an eye on areas prone to flooding.
Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.
The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.
Serious flooding is expected in inland areas of the two states, with waters already rising in communities such as Conway, South Carolina, near Myrtle Beach - and some rivers may not crest for another three to five days.
Hurricane Florence Hits Near Wrightsville Beach
Rescue workers are scrambling to rescue 150 people trapped by rising flood waters in the coastal city of New Bern, North Carolina. Rains are expected to be quite a real hazard from the storm, as it will have a slow movement towards SC before it turns north.
And dolphins were spotted closer than usual to shore near in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris.
Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute. The previous record of 24.06 inches was set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
The riverfront city of 30,000 people has been deluged by 304cm of water, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.
Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.
"Everybody's going to see a sunny day at some point in time and say, 'We're good.' Well actually, you're going to get sunny day flooding coming from the water further up in the basin".
"This is a hurricane event followed by a flood event", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
The Federal Emergency Management Authority said motorists should not attempt to drive through floodwaters.
More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.
North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.
Hurricane Matthew sent more than 1.5 metres of water into their home in 2016, and the couple feared Florence would run them out again.
Florence "will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and SC for some time", NOAA official Steve Goldstein said Saturday morning.
Search and Rescue workers from NY rescue a man from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence in River Bend, North Carolina, the United States, on September 14, 2018.