The father was taken to hospital, reportedly in a critical condition.
A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords during the rain. By 2 p.m., more than 658,000 customers were without power across North Carolina, and the Triangle had begun to experience outages.
At a briefing, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the risk of fatality will only grow when people venture out once the winds die down.
"The imminent threat of coastal flooding and high winds have passed for our coastal communities as Hurricane Florence has made landfall in the Carolinas and we believe it is safe for Virginians to begin returning home", Northam said in a statement. Maximum winds at the time were 90 miles per hour, reported the NHC.
Firefighters pray during an operation to remove a tree that fell on a house and killed two residents as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. NEW BERN OVERWHELMEDIn New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge "overwhelmed" the town, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, Cooper said.
Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.
"There is probably not a county or a person that will not be affected in some way by this very massive and violent storm", he said. Eudy and his family stayed home in New Bern in part to protect their house.
Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous agreed, telling Muir, "I see a biblical proportion flood event that's going to occur". His mom remembers Hurricane Hazel, when the water did not rise as high as his fifth step, where it was Thursday night.
Graham said Florence, moving at 6 miles per hour, is still predicted to bring 20 to 30 inches of rain to parts of North and SC, and as much as 10 inches far inland, including parts of Virginia. Numerous evacuees took their pets.
The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.
Mr Trump plans to visit the region next week.
The high rains may reach as far west as Kentucky, Graham said Friday afternoon.
The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rain on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places. Significant weakening was expected over the weekend.
He picked up 10 people on one run and took them to a shelter.