Parts of North Carolina could see enough torrential rain to qualify as a thousand-year flood, said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
During the week of landfall (which in Florence's case began early Friday morning on the North Carolina coast), inflows to the accounts dropped by over 20 percent, or approximately $400 on average.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.
The states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, as well as Washington D.C., declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm.
More than 634,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said.
Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Florence was centered about 15 miles (25 kilometers) north-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and about 55 miles (90 kilometers) east-southeast of Florence, South Carolina. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions", the hurricane center briefing said. Collins says they have a front loader they're using to clear the roads, but a tree went through the windshield of it.
As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier island chain, had already received 76cm of rain, the US Geological Service said.
Heavy rain, wind gusts and rising floodwater from Florence swamped the Carolinas as the massive storm crawled toward the coast, threatening millions of people in its path with record rainfall and punishing surf.
Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 metre). The Cajun Navy, a rescue team formed after Katrina, scoured the small town of New Bern for victims when overnight flooding sent residents to their attics and rooftops.
Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks.
"Significant weakening is forecast over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland", NHC said.
Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.
Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.