Hurricane Matthew sent more than 5 feet (1.5 metres) of water into their home in 2016, and the couple feared Florence would run them out again.
A citizen weather observer posted a total of 30.58 inches of rain in Swansboro, which is in Onslow County, and would be a state a record for a tropical storm or hurricane if verified.
Five people are known to have died as the massive weather system knocked down trees, flooded rivers, and dumped sheets of rain in the Carolinas.
"The only difference is, back then it was within 14 days", he said.
Eduardo Munoz / Reuters Water from the Neuse river floods houses during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina.
"Into next week our rivers are going to continue to rise and there will be more significant flooding", Cooper said. Hikers have been told to seek shelter off the Appalachian Trail to avoid falling trees, flash floods and mudslides. In South Carolina, 155,000 customers are without power, officials said.
The number of people the US Coast Guard says it rescued by helicopter in North Carolina on Sunday.
At 8 a.m. Saturday, Florence stalled about 35 miles (55 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, moving forward at just 2 mph, with top sustained winds of 50 mph.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper had said that "several more days of rain" were expected, describing the amount of rainfall from the hurricane as a "1,000-year event". Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm and flooding from the heavy rain is forcing hundreds of people to call for emergency rescues in the area around New Bern, North Carolina, which sits at the confluence of the Nueces and Trent rivers. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000.
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.
SC has reported its first death from Florence.
But one group of dedicated firefighters who were working in hurricane conditions in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Friday paused to kneel and pray outside a home that experienced bad tragedy as a result of Hurricane Florence. Electricity remained out for much of the city, known for its historic mansions, with power lines lying across roads like wet strands of spaghetti. The study found that from 1963 to 2012 90% of deaths occurred in water related incidents, mostly drowning.
The deaths bring the death toll from Florence, which came ashore on Friday as a hurricane, to at least seven.
More torrential rain will fall in that area today and Sunday.
In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges up to 10 feet (3 meters), authorities were rescuing stranded residents and taking stock of damages. They are expecting to use FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which is paid for by both state and federal funds to put displaced residents in hotel rooms.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Saturday announced the death of a 61-year-old woman who died when her vehicle hit a downed tree on a highway.
The Navy says nearly 30 Virginia-based ships and 128 aircraft sent away from their bases in the Hampton Roads-area because of now-Tropical Storm Florence have been given the go-ahead to return.
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