"We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns".
The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got more than 30 inches (75 centimeters) and counting, obliterating the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches (60 centimeters) on the state.
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.
Emergency officials in Virginia have also deployed 25 high-wheeled vehicles and 50 personnel to help with rescue operations in North Carolina. He says the inmates will not be moved back until all of the prisons have been inspected after the storm by safety, security and maintenance teams.
If the storm tracks further to the west and up into the Ohio River Valley, the worst of the heavy rain and associated impacts of the storm would be centered to the west of the Washington area and more focused toward western Pennsylvania and eventually interior New England.
That's just the number of customers without power in the Carolinas.
"What we want to try to do is to minimize the time that people spend in their shelters that they're in right now", Sprayberry said.
"Rivers are rising to risky levels, and the relentless rains will continue through the weekend", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned on Friday.
Officials in North Carolina evacuated more than 3,000 inmates incarcerated in prisons in hurricane evacuation zones early this week (Monday through Wednesday). While the amount is unofficial, it would shatter the old record of 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to near 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour, but the NHC warned residents of unsafe storm surges and "catastrophic flooding".
Volunteers and city workers have been filling sandbags, trying to plug a low point in the city's levee system before the Lumber River crests.
Florence "will continue to track slowly inland through the Carolinas this weekend", the National Weather Service said in its 8:00 a.m. update Saturday.
Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of almost 120,000 people.
"If you live in south Lumberton, west Lumberton, go ahead and leave now while you can, please", Cantey told CNN on Saturday morning.
Ricky Hughes of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, wore a Clemson hat and Coastal Carolina T-shirt to Neyland Stadium but said that "we're Tennessee fans today, you can believe that 100 percent".
Kim Adams wades through waist-deep floodwaters at her home in Southport, North Carolina.
A mother and a baby were the storm's first victims, who were killed Friday when a tree collapsed on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. The father was hospitalized with injuries.
Eduardo Munoz / Reuters A downed tree rests on a house during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of Wilson, North Carolina. Along with other home cleanup and fix work ministries, Frazier said his group works to "basically restore somebody back to where they were as much as we can". Earlier, authorities said a man drowned after his pickup truck flipped into a drainage ditch along a flooded SC road and two people died from inhaling carbon monoxide from a generator in their home.