After protecting themselves from the mighty storm, people who saw their communities devastated yesterday emerged:
Many people in Wilmington came out of their homes for the first time on Saturday morning to scenes of raised trees and fallen power lines. Some residents were less worried about floods and more powerless for a long time. Sidney Este, whose 71-year-old mother was still in his home, said, "My main concern is that the house is getting hotter."
Meteorologists warned that it could be days and weeks after Florence's direct blow before the city sees rising water levels.
On Saturday afternoon in Lumberton, North Carolina, the Lumber River was dangerously close to flooding. Officials said the river was at 14.45 feet – one foot and a half above flood stage – and was supposed to rise another 10 feet on Sunday. It had already broken its banks southwest of Lumberton. The I-95, the main north-south highway, was flooded on Sunday
The guards Adam Gabbatt is in Lumberton, North Carolina, which was hit hardest by early floods. Gabbatt writes:
Lumberton, about 80 miles northwest of Wilmington, was hit hardest by the first floods. On Saturday night, much of the south of Lumberton was under water as emergency crews struggled to contain the fast-rising Lumber River.
Turner Park, a caravan park in southwest Lumberton, was under two feet of water on Saturday night, and the water was rising rapidly. At 5:00 pm, the Guardian watched as the water from the park approached 15 minutes closer to Martin Luther King Jr Drive Street in just 10 minutes.
Residents were told to evacuate the park, where dozens of 40 foot x 12 foot followers are standing on low-lying land. Across the street was Newport Church, a beautiful white building with an impressive church spire, at 6 pm under a meter of water.
The Martin Luther King-Drive was almost completely overflowed with water, and on both sides water had penetrated, and further north, many one-story houses were flooded. Cars fought their way through streets covered with a meter of water. In the coming days, much more rain was predicted.
Lumberton, where 25% of the population lives below the poverty line, was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew two years ago, and residents once again faced loss of ownership and possessions. When people attempted to escape the flood, many evacuation homes in nearby Fayetteville were full at 6:00 pm.
The wood is considered flooded in 13ft, and the National Weather Service predicted on Saturday it will climb to 24.9 feet on Sunday afternoon and flood neighborhoods on its way.
Florence hovers over the Carolinas, and although the storm is weakening to tropical depression, the National Hurricane Center warns that "catastrophic" floods could hit the area.
At least 11 people have died in the storm, and officials are warning people in the affected areas to be extremely cautious as the risk of flash floods is still high.
Forecasters have warned over the next few days that North Carolina may see the most destructive floods in the history of the state as rivers surge to record highs.
At 5 am, the storm was centered about 20 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.
We will provide live updates from reporters in North Carolina and South Carolina throughout the day.
The latest update is here: