"Flood waters are rising, & if you aren't watching for them, you are risking life".
Further along the Cape Fear River, grass and trees lining the banks were partly submerged, still well below a highway bridge crossing it.
Some towns have already had more than 60-centimetres of rain, and forecasters warn that totals could hit one-metre. "These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said.
Southwestern Virginia is also expecting up to 10in (25cm). The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising.
"Amazing. They did awesome", said Knox, who was stranded with seven others, including a boy who was carried out in a life vest.
Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including more than 8,000 from Duke's Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.
Forecasters say the center of the eye of Florence has made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.
Wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area.
"Honestly, I'm not sure" why some people refused to follow evacuation orders, David Cotton, county manager for North Carolina's Onslow County, told "Good Morning America" on Saturday. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores could get gusty winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Helene this weekend, while Isaac regained tropical storm strength after earlier weakening in the Caribbean Sea.
Steve Goldstein, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration liaison to FEMA headquarters, said on Saturday that the storm would "produce catastrophic flooding for some time", adding that many rivers would still experience catastrophic flooding from the storm and that 3- to 5-foot storm surges were still possible along the coast.
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Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour (155 kph) winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.
Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast as a large hurricane Friday, dumping almost three feet (1 meter) of rain and swelling the region's rivers. But the storm was shaping up as a two-part disaster, with the second, delayed-action stage consisting of inland flooding, caused by rainwater working its way into rivers and streams.
The coal-fired Sutton plant was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating millions of tons of ash from old waste pits and removing it to safer lined landfills constructed on the property.
The casualties include a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.
In the town of New Bern, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers had to use inflatable boats to reach people.
As the United States dealt with Florence, a strong typhoon tore across the northern tip of the Philippines, killing at least three people, wrecking homes and triggering landslides before heading toward Hong Kong and southern China.
In South Carolina, a 62-year-old woman died when her auto hit a tree that had fallen across a road in the town of Union.
The effects of Florence won't be fading anytime soon, either, as current forecasts have upwards of 15-to-20 additional inches of rain possible for areas of North and SC will Florence's remnants will linger for the next 48 to 72 hours.
The president may travel to the region next week, the White House says. Although the storm is passing north of Myrtle Beach, the concern now is that river water from North Carolina will flow into the area and combine with all the water that is already there.
Florence's remnants are expected to keep traveling north and then northeast and could drop several inches of rain in eastern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.