Almost 9,00,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas early on Friday, utility officials said.
Farmers have drawn down the levels of hog lagoons to cope with the heavy rainfall, but Troxler admits they don't know what effect river flooding could have. He says that "over the years the state government and the federal government have become very coordinated in their ability to manage the pre-deployment of assets (and) the response to the citizens of those states, and we will soon be into the recovery".
Storm surge has accounted for about half of the deaths in hurricanes since 1970, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Steve Troxler, North Carolina's Agriculture Commissioner, says preparation is key to minimizing losses. At 1 p.m. Thursday the storm was churning maximum sustained winds of 105 mph located about 115 miles south-southeast of Wilmington, N.C., according to the hurricane center.
Florence has weakened to a tropical storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Friday, adding that still life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic freshwater flooding are expected over portions of North and SC.
Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally risky to be outside, Graham said.
Storm surge, the massive mound of water that builds up and comes ashore during a hurricane, is often the deadliest and most destructive threat from the storms.
Saturday's scheduled game between SC and Marshall has been canceled.
"To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a news conference in Raleigh, adding that Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days".
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Others found the company's lack of creativity to be a bigger issue, with many simply calling the new names "dumb" and 'lazy'. Apple says the release is its attempt to reach as many people as possible, and it is perhaps the most populist of the bunch.
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Millions prepare as Hurricane Florence approaches USA coast
Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a category two, but it is still on track to cause significant damage in the US. Across several eastern states, residents scrambled to leave as the Category 4 storm , with winds of 225kmh, approached.
At least 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia have been warned to evacuate, and others are hunkering down.
In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods.
The hurricane came ashore early on Friday, pounding the state with torrential rain and high winds.
Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.
Employees at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 had to abandon their studio for the "first time in history", the station posted Thursday night on Facebook.
Florence is being trailed in the Atlantic by two other storms - Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac. "You may need to move up to the second storey, or to your attic, but we are coming to get you".
By Friday evening, the centre of the storm had moved to eastern SC, about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesA volunteer worker rescues a child and her family during Hurricane Florence. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.