Steve Wareheim says his home in Shallotte, North Carolina, is holding up as Hurricane Florence creeps closer.
Although the hurricane has been reduced to category 1, its stall and massive size pose a threat of long durations of rain and wind.
"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said. "It's called Mother Nature, you never know, but we know". "But I think we're ready".
In the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores could get gusty winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Helene this weekend, while Isaac regained tropical storm strength after earlier weakening in the Caribbean Sea. Hurricane-force winds were extending out up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 195 miles, the center said.
That kind of scenario is likely to repeat itself all over communities in Eastern North Carolina, as swollen rivers flood towns and the pouring rain adds to the misery.
President Donald Trump is expected to travel to areas hit by Florence next week, once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts, the White House said on Friday.
Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.
"From Wilmington to Charlotte, we'll experience between a 500-year and 1,000-year flood event", Trogdon warned in a late-morning briefing.
Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding.
Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.
People are stranded on their roofs, with about 200 residents in New Bern having to be rescued so far as the storm roared ashore. "We are doing as well as we can", Coudriet said.
Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including over 8,000 from Duke's Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.
Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.
But, unlike Baker, some of the people who evacuated to a shelter hadn't chosen to come.
There is really nowhere for the water to go.
Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. Here are snapshots of people struggling to cope with the slow-grinding storm.
What the hurricane "has now lost in terms of maximum wind speeds near its center, it has now gained in terms of sheer expansiveness", said Peter Mullinax, a meteorologist at Planalytics.
Officials have warned against entering attics, unless people have a means to cut through to the roof to avoid drowning.
The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour, the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, the weather service said.
The storm made landfall at Wrightsville Beach at 7:15 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Once the center moves inland, the intensity of the hurricane is forecast to decrease, according to a forecast discussion posted on the NHC's web site.
Coastal and river communities on the north side of Florence are getting the worst of the flooding as the hurricane swirls onto land pushing a life-threatening storm surge.
"A USGS gauge in Emerald Isle, N.C., recently recorded 6.1 feet above normal water levels", the National Hurricane Center said of the storm surge early Friday.
Hurricane Florence pummeled North Carolina, making landfall Friday morning with storm surges and wind gusts before contributing to at least five deaths.