The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm climbed to 11.
Forecasters warned that drenching rains of up to 3 feet as the 90 miles per hour storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.
"Now it's turning into a significant flash flood event", Pfaff said.
"Flood waters are rising, & if you aren't watching for them, you are risking life".
Cooper said many people in his state who may think the storm has missed them have not yet seen its actual threat to their regions, advising residents inland that "rivers will rise days after the rain has stopped", reaching their highest level days from now.
The enormous storm crept at a 6 miles per hour pace, making it clear that the trouble was just beginning.
Mother Lesha Murphy-Johnson and her baby, Zac, were killed after being trapped inside their home in Wilmington when a tree fell onto the roof at around 9.30am on Friday.
Officials in SC said a 61-year-old woman died when her vehicle struck a tree that had fallen across a highway near the town of Union.
The scenes from the storm are heart-wrenching, counties on the coast of North and SC with catastrophic damage, and the evacuated teen KDKA-TV News spoke to knows he is fortunate after being separated from his sisters and his mom.
"Dangerous storm surge could also affect portions of the northeast coast of SC coast today".
"Remember: Most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars", Gov. Cooper said. The Army sergeant was part of a team using a phone app to locate people in distress.
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Mackie rode in a boat through a flooded neighborhood, navigating through trees and past a fence post to get to the Knox house. "If not we'd be stuck upstairs for the next ... how long? I have no idea".
Winds have dropped to about 40 miles per hour (65 kph) since it roared ashore along the US mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane and it is crawling west over two states at 6 mph (9 kph), the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Sunday.
He referenced the floods of 2015 as well as Hurricane Hugo in an attempt to underline the gravity of the situation.
The Neuse is expected to crest at more than nine feet (3 meters) above flood stage Monday and Sheehan said the company expects the same ash basins are likely to be inundated again.
Along the Lumber River in Lumberton, workers used heavy machinery to dump extra sand on a railbed prone to flooding.
Hurricane Florence (by now a tropical storm) dumped more than a foot of rain in some places between Friday and Saturday mornings and is expected to continue moving slowly, dumping more rain over the area throughout the weekend. Along with other home cleanup and fix work ministries, Frazier said his group works to "basically restore somebody back to where they were as much as we can".
Two people also died in Harkers Island, North Carolina, on Friday, Carteret County Director of Emergency Services Stephen Rea said Saturday.
And on Saturday evening, Duke Energy disclosed that heavy rains had caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina.
In South Carolina's Myrtle Beach, Victor Shamah, the owner of The Bowery bar, chose to open because people "wanted to eat, they didn't have any place to eat".
Areas further inland through southwest Virginia could see as much as 15 inches of rainfall.
Coastal and river communities on the north side of Florence are getting the worst of the flooding as the hurricane swirls onto land pushing a life-threatening storm surge.
Then it will swing to the northeast in the middle of next week on a path to the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, where it will be an extra-tropical low with gale-force winds.
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