And cameras aboard the International Space Station managed to catch incredible footage just a few minutes after the storm's landfall.
Rain ranging from one to three and a half feet has already fallen, and it's not over.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC, as well as up to 10 inches (25 cm) in southwestern Virginia.
Forecasters warned that drenching rains totaling up to 3.5 feet could trigger epic flooding well inland through early next week.
Rescue personnel use a small boat as they go house to house checking for flood victims from Florence, in New Bern, North Carolina, Sept. 15, 2018.
Flooding and a strong storm surge prompted more than 90 calls to the emergency operation center in Craven County, N.C., for residents trapped in vehicles and homes, spokeswoman Amber Parker said.
The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras.
Florence already has set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted during the height of the storm.
This is the freakish moment a TV weatherman appeared to be caught faking his battle against gale-force winds during Storm Florence. Areas like New Bern also could see an additional 3 to 5 feet of storm surge as high tide combines with the seawater still being pushed ashore by Florence, Graham said.
Top winds were holding at 90 miles per hour - that's just a Category 1 hurricane - but some communities were already submerged in more than six feet of water as the storm drenched the coast.
More than 300 volunteers from nine USA states have joined the relief effort in North Carolina, according to ABC News. That, and the storm's vast circumference of hundreds of miles, means Wilmington will be inundated with rain, the advisory said.
By Saturday morning, top sustained winds had weakened to 50 mph as it moved farther inland at 2 mph about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Most of the rivers in northeast SC and eastern North Carolina are experiencing moderate to major flooding and, in some cases, many continue rising well into next week as floodwaters from the interior flow downstream.
Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers - and the storm is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over. The video shows The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel reporting from Wilmington in North Carolina, USA, reports AJC.
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.
The White House said President Trump will tour areas affected by Florence next week, once it is determined that his visit will not disrupt rescue and recovery operations.
Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house. Later Friday, a wind gust of 68 miles per hour was measured at a station in Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington.