It hit the coast as a Category 1 storm with 90 miles per hour maximum sustained winds, the NWS said.
Almost 814,000 homes in North Carolina and 170,000 in SC are without power.
A statue reaches above Florence's floodwaters in North Carolina.
Rising water forced a North Carolina TV station to evacuate its newsroom in the middle of Hurricane Florence coverage.
A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding.
Florence made landfall on the East Coast Friday morning with wind speeds of 195 miles per hour.
The military announced Saturday it was deploying almost 200 soldiers to assist in storm-related response and recovery efforts, along with 100 trucks and equipment. "This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall".
Hurricane Florence: Carolinas brace for life-threatening storm
More significant weakening was expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves inland, the NHC said . The storm's forward speed had slowed to 6 miles per hour , and forecasters were concerned it might have stalled.
That's how hard the wind gusted in North Carolina's New River inlet. In Belhaven, the rising Pungo River almost swallowed the firstfloor of a house. The city tweeted early September 14 that 150 people were awaiting rescue.
The huge levels of rainfall are a result of the storm surge created by the unsafe tropical weather, which has claimed the lives of 11 people. Trump, who plans a visit to the region next week, tweeted his "deepest sympathies and warmth" to the families and friends of those who had lost their lives.
"Many people who think the storm has missed them have yet to see its threat", he said, adding: "Don't go back until this storm passes and you get the official all clear".
Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.
Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.
Wind speeds are kicking up far from the coast in central SC as Hurricane Florence slowly makes its way along the coast. Both Wilmington International Airport and Fort Macon suffered gusts of 105 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.
In Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 on North Carolina's Atlantic coastline, along the Cape Fear River that is home to historic mansions, streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.
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Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence is set to park above the Carolinas coastline, threatening fuel markets along the US East Coast. Brent rude prices fell in August however extra fair lately rose to 2-month highs round $eighty a barrel.
The reporter, Mike Seidel, was reporting from Wilmington, N.C., Friday afternoon, where he was shown hunched over and appearing to brace against a strong wind. "After a disaster, we tend to see a lot of skin infections and skin rashes", said Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. "We all know that". "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was", he said.
Perry says his department has been in contact with power companies and gas pipeline operators.
"It's going to be a big operation - very big", Frazier said. A town spokesman said between 60 and 75 people were awaiting rescue on Saturday.
With a plodding pace belying still-unspent fury, Tropical Storm Florence pushed deeper into the Carolinas on Saturday, inundating homes, toppling trees and pushing rivers far beyond their banks as rescuers rushed to keep pace.
The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras.
This is according to data from poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA's electrical power grid.
It was downgraded to Category 1 before coming ashore on Friday near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina.
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Fulham became the latest to more or less accept defeat at base camp. "I would like to live that situation", Guardiola said. "Our aim is obviously to build on the achievements of the previous year ", City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
Hundreds were rescued in New Bern, a city of 30,000 at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers. More than 360 people had been carried to safety since Thursday night.