More than 1 million people, mainly in North Carolina, were without power a day after Florence made landfall a few miles east of Wilmington as a howling Category 1 hurricane.
Tropical Storm Florence continues to weaken as it dumps risky amounts of rain across the Carolinas.
On Saturday some residents tried to return to home, driving through flooded highways armed with chainsaws to clear fallen pine needle trees that covered the road.
"Flood waters are still raging across parts of our state", Cooper said.
A person inside the house in the 700 block of Violet Street reported leg pain as a result of the incident and was taken to a hospital, according to Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill.
"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said earlier. "This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall".
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NOAA NOAA / Reuters Hurricane Florence is shown from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) #GOESEast satellite shortly after the storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, US, 14 September.
Some of the worst flooding was in New Bern, a town of 30,000 in North Carolina at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers, where hundreds of people needed to be rescued after becoming trapped in their homes by a storm surge of up to 10 feet (three meters).
"It's the first time we've ever had to move anything like this", Rose said. The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising.
Dawn Baldwin Gibson, 47, a minister and private school founder who lives on a farm closer to the coast in nearby Pamlico County and runs a Facebook page about weather in eastern North Carolina, had evacuated to New Bern to stay with family, thinking it would be a safer spot. A mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington.
County officials and business owners reported relatively minimal damage, and there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.
- An 81-year-old man died while trying to evacuate Wayne County, North Carolina, on Friday, the state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says.
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Many vehicles were seen submerged in the rising flood waters after Hurricane Florence struck Wilmington, North Carolina, on Saturday.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of Florence's landfall in parts of North and SC, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm.
The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.
Flash flooding will be a significant danger along and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with landslides, isolated tornadoes and eventual flooding on the New River, Dan River and Roanoke River.
The guard has mobilized over 100 members and 35 shallow-water rescue boat teams.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion litres) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.
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