The Cape Fear River near Fayetteville is projected to rise nearly 45 feet (14 metres) to 62 feet (19 metres) by Tuesday.
It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 560km-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days. As the storm sat along the edge of the Atlantic, some stretches along the coastal Carolinas received close to 20 inches of rain. The slow-moving storm is still dumping colossal amounts of rain on North Carolina and parts of northern SC. The great danger now, experts say, is river flooding.
Relief will not come quickly.
The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 21 miles per hour on September 14 morning in Columbia.
The parts of the country still in the storm's path have been saturated by summer rains and can not soak up any surplus from Florence.
Eduardo Munoz / Reuters Water from the Neuse river floods houses during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina.
There is really nowhere for the water to go. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters. We know how to manage expectations.
Hundreds of residents were rescued on Friday, and the city was placed under a 24-hour curfew until further notice. In its 2 a.m. update Sunday, the center also says an elevated risk of landslides is now expected in western North Carolina.
New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people were safely rescued in the town of 30,000 residents.
And on Saturday evening, Duke Energy said heavy rains caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina. There had been no reports of injuries or fatalities, though most of the city was without power and thousands of buildings had been damaged, she said.
Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute. We got thrown into mailboxes.
As Florence lingers over east SC, officials are keeping an eye on areas prone to flooding.
That's how hard the wind gusted in North Carolina's New River Inlet.
The figure included a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house.
Two others died in the state from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator inside their home, according to a local coroner. A 78-year-old man connecting extension cords in the rain was electrocuted, according to Roger Dail, the Lenoir County director of emergency services.
Cooper said others should not follow suit. Hurricane Matthew sent more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water into their home in 2016, and the couple feared Florence would run them out again. "Be extremely careful and stay alert".
-So far: roughly 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain have fallen north of Swansboro, North Carolina, and it's only going to get worse.
"The storm is wreaking havoc on our state, and we're deeply concerned for farms, for businesses, for schools and even for whole communities that might be wiped away", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. But its progress had slowed to a crawl of 5 miles per hour.
In South Carolina, emergency managers were watching several northeastern rivers that flooded two years ago during Hurricane Matthew, destroying homes and government offices.
The coast has been battered, and the mountains appear to be next.
Forecasters say the center of Hurricane Florence is hovering just inland near Cape Fear, North Carolina.
Tropical Storm Florence is expected to creep slowly through SC over the weekend.
Cline said July was the wettest ever in that part of North Carolina, and the water table rose 21 inches higher than normal. Florence could add another six to 10 inches of rainfall this weekend.
"If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible", Mayor Mitch Colvin said at a news conference.
"Our friend behind our old house, they have gators swimming in the water".
Authorities have set up 89 emergency operation centers throughout the state.