"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted.
"You have water coming onshore and you can rainfall coming down that's trying to move out", he said.
Firefighters and rescue crews in Wilmington, North Carolina stopped to pray outside the house where a fallen tree killed a mother and her 8-month-old baby.
A fourth person reportedly was killed while plugging in a generator in the state's Lenoir County, according to USA media.
A man who was trapped inside his New Bern, North Carolina, home by Tropical Storm Florence spoke with Fox & Friends on Saturday. The father was hospitalized with injuries.
Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) but authorities warned the danger was far from over, predicting that "life-threatening storm surges and strong winds" would persist through the night.
George Zaytoun chose not to evacuate his house ahead of the storm, which had been deemed a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday.
With South Carolina's beach towns now more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".
"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.
In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.
The storm made landfall Friday at 7:15 a.m. ET just south of Wrightsville Beach - about 6.5 miles due east for Wilmington, North Carolina.
Forecasters say catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over parts of North Carolina and SC ahead.
Government weather satellites captured this image of Hurricane Florence shortly after its landfall September 14, 2018. Storm surge could be up to 13 feet, pushing seawater as much as 2 miles inland. Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.
At 5 a.m., the center was all but parked over SC, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, moving west-southwest at just 5 mph (8 kph) and scooping massive amounts of moisture from the sea. Hurricane force winds were being felt in an 80-mile radius from the center of the storm.
The NHC said: "Florence is moving toward the west-southwest near 5 miles per hour (8 km/h), and a turn toward the west and northwest is expected today and Sunday".
The National Hurricane Center said Florence is expected to be re-categorised as a tropical depression by the time it moves into the mid-Atlantic states and New England in the middle of next week.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air. Roof shingles were peeled off a hotel.
The airport was almost empty Friday morning, as thousands of passengers had already changed their flight schedules.
About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.
Monica Scott, 34, of Wilmington, says she's keeping her fingers crossed that her home is fine. "Houses. Trees", Holt said. The video shows The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel reporting from Wilmington in North Carolina, USA, reports AJC.
At least four people have died, but authorities fear the death toll with increase as the storm crawls westward Saturday across SC.
At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.