"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life", Governor Roy Cooper said.
The rain and flooding expected Saturday could double the 10 to 20 inches that have fallen so far.
Forecasters expect Cape Fear River to crest at 62 feet by Monday or Tuesday. Police guarded the door of one store, and only 10 people were allowed inside at a time.
While the storm didn't make as violent an appearance as first expected, it was still very risky, officials said. "There is no access to Wilmington". On the coast of the river break their banks and torrents of water flooded farms and farmland, our homes and cities. It was downgraded to a tropical storm later Friday.
North Carolina Emergency Management Director Michael Sprayberry said it was too early to estimate how many people in the state would be made homeless by the storm.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, meanwhile, more than a dozen people have died as Typhoon Mangkhut rips through the Philippines.
Scores of residents had to be rescued from flooding by emergency responders and volunteers in New Bern, North Carolina, on Saturday. In North and SC was energized more than 620 thousand households. Well, we're about to get punched in the face. "If not we'd be stuck upstairs for the next. how long? Very Professional!" he tweeted.
The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm climbed to 11. In South Carolina, some 36,000 customers are without power, officials said.
"I have everything I need for my whole family", said Merlos. With half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.
Coast Guard response teams have rescued 193 people and 91 pets.
"All roads in the state right now are at risk of floods", he said.
The industrial-scale farms contain vast pits of animal feces and urine that can pose a significant pollution threat if they are breached or inundated by floodwaters. The Defense Department said about 13,500 military personnel had been assigned to help relief efforts.
In Cumberland County, which includes Fayetteville, officials ordered people within a mile of the Cape Fear River to evacuate by 3 p.m. Sunday. Fayetteville is the sixth-largest city in the state with 205,000 people. He moved quickly as workers helped him empty more than 1,000 mattresses from a warehouse in a low-lying strip mall.
"We already know that the flood is coming, so why stay when we know we could come and be safe", Bridgett said. Inland rivers are expected to rise to risky levels over the next few days.
On Saturday some residents tried to return home, driving through flooded highways and armed with chainsaws to clear fallen pine trees that covered the road.
Rivers are swelling toward record levels, forecaster warn, and thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate for fear that the next few days could bring some of the most destructive flooding in North Carolina history.
Both infants were killed by falling trees in North Carolina.
"Urgent warning about the rapid rise of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma's eye".
This resulted in many roads being closed including parts of I-95. Utilities said some could be out for weeks.
According to the report, "The depression is moving toward the west near 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)".
As of Sunday evening, Florence was centered about 25 miles south-southeast of Greenville, South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said. Its winds were down to 40 miles per hour. But thousands of buildings were damaged in destruction Roberts called "heart-wrenching".
Florence set a record in the state for rain from a hurricane, dumping 33.9 inches (86 cm) in Swansboro, North Carolina.
Near the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington, coal ash leaked from a Duke Energy landfill.