There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning.
Dolphins have been seen swimming close to the shoreline in high water caused by Hurricane Florence.
Tropical Storm Florence is practically stalled over the Carolinas and the monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet (1 meter).
Yesterday, the European Space Agency released a short video of astronauts aboard the space station watching the storm out of the cupola armed with powerful cameras to capture its giant knot of storm clouds.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land.
WILMINGTON, United States: Tropical storm Florence caused "catastrophic" flooding in the Carolinas Saturday even as it began to weaken, leaving multiple deaths, including a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house.
In New Bern, along the coast, aerial photos show homes completely surrounded by water, with rescuers using inflatable boats to reach people. Along the Neuse River, emergency responders pulled off some 200 rescues overnight and Friday morning, and about 150 people were still awaiting help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said.
Florence is still a unsafe storm and is linked to at least five deaths so far. "Don't drive across standing or moving water".
As the storm slowly churned toward the shore, people who chose not to evacuate got caught in the floodwaters.
With tropical storm-force winds swirling 350 miles wide, Florence took down trees, power lines and damaged buildings.
The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.
"Doppler radar was showing a band of heavy rain developing off the North and South Carolina Coasts". The tropical storm's maximum sustained winds are holding steady, remaining at around 50 miles per hour, with higher gusts in heavy rainbands over water, the NWS said.
The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel was seemingly battling to stay upright as he filmed a piece in North Carolina - only for two pedestrians to calmly stroll past in the background.
Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city's police department said.
Florence came ashore more than 24 hours ago.
The storm is expected to bring historic and "catastrophic" rain and flooding, the National Hurricane Center said in an 8 a.m. briefing.
Nearly 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks. That, and the storm's vast circumference of hundreds of miles, means Wilmington will be inundated with rain, the advisory said.
"The slow motion of the storm will make this a very prolonged flood event", Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said in a briefing.
Forecasters say the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.
Rainfall has been heavy and consistent in the areas of the storm, with Florence expected to cascade up to 40 inches of rain across southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeastern SC. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.