And cameras aboard the International Space Station managed to catch incredible footage just a few minutes after the storm's landfall.
The military announced Saturday morning it was deploying almost 200 soldiers to assist in Hurricane Florence response and recovery efforts, along with 100 trucks and equipment.
Saffo said crews, already out Saturday trying to clear debris even as the storm continued howling and dropping rain, need time to get roads clear.
Wright is far from the only resident in the Carolinas that chose to weather Hurricane Florence, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, though many who chose to stay are starting to reconsider their decision of sticking around for what North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called a "1,000-year event".
As much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain could fall on coastal areas in North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said.
As the storm moves inland, forecasters warned, the surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding. CORRECTING GRAMMAR AND TYPO IN CITY NAME A family is stalled in water as they wait to be rescued during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018. The woman's husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police. "America is proud of you", Trump tweeted on Friday, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which responds to disasters in the United States.
Florence is still a risky storm and is linked to at least five deaths so far.
As the storm slowly churned toward the shore, people who chose not to evacuate got caught in the floodwaters. More than 360 people have been carried to safety since Thursday night amid rising waters.
Parts of the Carolinas will see more than 15 inches of additional rain in the next couple of days.
Moss said a tornado watch remains in effect for counties to the south and east of the Triangle until 7 a.m. and tropical storm warnings remain in effect for a large portion of the state.
More than 800,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state.
The storm's movement, not its strength, has forecasters and officials anxious.
At least 4 people killed, including mother and baby. In New Bern, the risky conditions prompted officials in the coastal city to place the city under 24-hour curfew at 7 a.m. Friday.
Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, could be in for heavy rains as Florence plods inland.
The White House said President Trump will tour areas affected by Florence next week, once it is determined that his visit will not disrupt rescue and recovery operations.
Her husband went to see if he could assist them but the water was chest high, she said.
Jon Wright considers himself one of the lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C. - so far. Shortly afterward, the National Weather Service reported wind gusts to 105 miles per hour at Wilmington International Airport, the highest wind gust measured in Wilmington since Hurricane Helene hit the port city in 1958.
Wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour were reported at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, the hurricane center said. It is not know if the dolphins came into shore to find shelter from the storm or if they were dragged in the the high winds.
Nathan Deal declared of a state of emergency for 159 counties in the state following the updated storm predictions. In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate, including from the Eastern Shore.
But Trump, whose efforts to help the island territory recover have been persistently criticized, was having none of that Thursday. Are these the worst tweets to have ever been tweeted by Trump... so far? It was initially said to have killed just 64 people.
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The product is now set to under-go forensic testing at the local police station and authorities work with the supermarket. He said retailers had heavily discounted prices, but that was not helping move enough stock.
The system is already used to warn the public about "dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations". But it won't be a political message or attack on one of his perceived enemies-or at least, it's not supposed to be.
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Hurricane Florence making landfall in Carolinas
As of Friday morning, Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane and is now soaking the North Carolina coast. The Miami-based center says Florence is bringing "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.
Florence plows inland, leaving 5 dead, states flooded
By Friday evening, the centre of the storm had moved to eastern SC , with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour . A gust of 169km/h was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.