Just after midnight, the station tweeted that everyone had safely evacuated.
Bonefish Grill in North Charleston, South Carolina fed about 100 first responders Thursday to thank them for their service and for keeping the community safe during the hurricane. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.
According to New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts, citizen volunteers with their own boats had offered to help the city coordinate rescues. The city tweeted early Friday that 150 people were awaiting rescue.
"These are folks who chose to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", she said.
About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats. "There is overwash but nothing we are not used to", she said.
Debris from Hurricane Florence covers a street in downtown New Bern, North Carolina. At Cape Lookout there were sustained winds of 83 miles per hour and gusts of 106. The storm is now producing 90-mile-per-hour winds sustained with strong gusts possible. Millions were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.
The storm is already causing power outages, with Duke Energy reporting almost 240,000 customers have lost power in North and SC - but projects 1 to 3 million people could lose power. We know how to manage expectations.
As Florence pounded away, it unloaded heavy rain, flattened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than a half-million homes and businesses.
"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change. This is expected to cause "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding". In its 7 a.m. ET update, the National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently recorded 6.1 feet above normal water levels. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).
More ominously, forecasters said the onslaught would last for hours and hours because Florence was barely creeping along at 6 mph (9 kph) and still drawing energy from the ocean.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water.
Hurricane Florence is weakened and slower moving than in recent days and is prepared to make a landfall at some point today.
Though Florence's shrieking winds diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, forecasters said the sheer size of the 350-mile-wide storm and its painfully slow progress across North and SC in the coming days could leave much of the region under water. (AAP) At 2am local time, Florence was located about 55km east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour. Steady organization resulted in the formation of a tropical depression, environmental conditions tore the storm apart, and Florence degraded to a tropical storm later.
Flood waters surround a house as Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on Friday.
More than 60 people had to be evacuated from a motel at risk of collapse in Jacksonville.
Over half a million homes and businesses were without power by mid morning in North and SC and utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration efforts could take weeks.
"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said.