"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.
Florence blew ashore early Friday in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour winds, buckling buildings, deluging entire communities and knocking out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses as it crawled inland and weakened into a still-lethal tropical storm. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned against such behavior as roads became increasingly risky.
Florence is projected to migrate at barely more than a walking pace across northern SC, passing close to the city of Florence - truly - on Saturday.
At least five deaths are connected to the storm.
Evacuation orders remain in place for Horry and Georgetown counties along South Carolina's northern coast.
The White House said President Donald Trump would visit hurricane-hit areas next week "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts".
"The river is coming up into our property", said Susan Bostic, who lives in Rocky Point, North Carolina.
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Florence has weakened into to tropical depression but flash flooding and major river flooding are expected to continue over significant portions of the Carolinas.
The storm dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday.
Rescuers are working hastily to save those caught in rising flood waters as thousands of people living near North Carolina's rising rivers were ordered to evacuate Saturday.
"That's why I got this thing, to use in times like this", he said.
"The worst is yet to come", he added.
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse. The Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris.
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.
Authorities on Saturday warned residents displaced by a killer hurricane that its devastation was far from over, as Florence dumped "epic amounts of rainfall" across the southeastern United States, bringing catastrophic flooding and up to 13 deaths.
The military is providing assistance to flood ravaged SC.
"We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns". Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit. As of Saturday, Fayetteville has received 2.5 inches of rain but heavier rain are expected this afternoon, with more expected in the coming days, Doll said.