The rain may be particularly heavy in the mountains, where there is an elevated risk of flash flooding. As Cooper said, "There's nowhere for the water to go". "This smashes the previous yearly rainfall record of 83.65 inches set in 1877.with over 3 months to go", the Weather Service tweeted.
Forecasters warned of catastrophic flooding and other mayhem from the monster storm, which is only Category 1 but physically sprawling and risky. Not so the more southerly Mangkhut, which Maue said, "essentially had a ideal environment to intensify to a Category 5 and stay there".
"If this thing comes inland and stops in eastern North Carolina like they forecast it, and we get two days of continuous rain, the rain will be our biggest damage", he said.
"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.
The hurricane has caused more than 615,000 power outages in North Carolina, with almost 80,000 reported in SC, according to website poweroutage.us.
The county that contains New Bern issued a mandatory evacuation Tuesday, and as the storm worsened, the city tweeted to urge remaining residents to shelter in place. "I'm not sure if it's a shift in the wind or low tide - but the water has miraculously disappeared".
"The threat of flooded roads keeps spreading", he said. In the Philippines, evacuations were under way with Super Typhoon Mangkhut expected to hit on Saturday in an area impacting an estimated 5.2 million people.
Olson said her home was likely to flood.
Officials have warned against entering attics, unless people have a means to cut through to the roof to avoid drowning. It has top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph) and is moving west at 6 miles per hour (9 kph).
The hurricane came ashore early Friday, pounding the state with torrential rain and high winds. Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls across the Carolinas.
Dams were a major concern in SC, too, which though in much better shape than its neighbor to the north was nonetheless taking a serious hit from Florence: six dead and 60,000 utility customers in the dark.
"This storm is still deadly and unsafe and it's expected to turn northward later today into Virginia and the mid-Atlantic", he said.
Keith Beavers, a farmer in Duplin County, North Carolina, was rushing on Thursday to harvest as much corn as he could ahead of the storm. The rivers are in most cases several days from cresting. By 2 p.m., more than 658,000 customers were without power across North Carolina, and the Triangle had begun to experience outages. It came as rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop.
Officials had warned before the storm rains could taint waterways with murky coal ash and toxic hog waste. That advisory came out on August 30, when Florence was developing near the Cabo Verde Islands across the Atlantic. Florence has been a odd tropical cyclone since it materialized in the distant Atlantic and took an unusual path toward the mainland United States.