Florence plowed into the Carolinas and lumbered slowly inland on Friday, knocking down trees, gorging rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leaving five people dead before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.
As the storm hovered around eight miles north of Myrtle Beach in SC, residents in the city of Conway, a few miles from the storm's eye, anxious that the Waccamaw river which surrounds the city would soon burst its banks.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: "NO WAY" Trump pushes back on ex-lawyer putting out book, cites "attorney-client privilege" Wealthiest Republican supporter in OH quits party MORE has approved a disaster declaration for North Carolina as the state deals with Tropical Storm Florence, the White House announced Saturday. However, there remains a large amount of uncertainty in the ultimate track of what will become post-tropical-storm Florence.
More than 810,000 people lacked power in North Carolina, and another 170,000 outages were reported in SC, according to emergency-management agencies.
Florence diminished from hurricane strength as it came ashore on Friday, but the large storm's slow progress across the two states could leave much of the region under water in the coming days, according to forecasters.
"We're helping out a lot of people today", says Craven County Emergency Services spokesperson Amber Parker.
Jon Wright considers himself one of the lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C. - so far.
The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most unsafe place to be as Florence moved ashore.
Neighbour Adam Sparks said he noticed emergency responders arrive at the house across the street right around when his power went out and the storm was intensifying.
Before dawn on Friday, authorities had been forced to rescue more than 60 people in Wilmington, some who had ignored evacuation orders.
Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge moved in for an extended stay along the coast. In South Carolina there were 7,000 people staying in shelters.
The Triangle is under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Sunday.
As of 5:00 am (0900 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to near 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, but the NHC warned residents of risky storm surges and "catastrophic flash flooding".
Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Florence is now a tropical storm, having been downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane since making landfall Friday on the North Carolina coast. Gusts reached over 100 miles per hour - the highest recorded in North Carolina since 1958.
And weather officials said more is coming, labeling as "extreme" the impacts from storm surge and flash flooding.
On Friday night, undaunted by fierce bipartisan criticism, he returned to the issue, tweeting his doubt about the research that produced the official death toll in Puerto Rico.
Others were at home hoping for the best.
Fisher said the hospital has about 1,800 employees, including medical and support staff, stationed at the hospital during the storm.
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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