"The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries". In the state's Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.
The White House said on Friday that US President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.
The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.
The news came more than 10 hours after the storm began punishing the coastal area with sustained hurricane-force winds, the hurricane center said.
"We're deeply concerned for whole communities which could be wiped away".
A gust of 169km/h was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.
A video of a live segment of him in Wilmington, North Carolina, shows him bracing his feet on where he's standing, presumably so he won't be blown over during his segment. "The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".
A North Carolina city situated between two rivers says it has around 150 people waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters from Hurricane Florence.
Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.
Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls westward across the Carolinas all weekend.
Florence dumped more than 20 inches on Oriental, N.C., the NHC said.
"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", he said.
A mother and infant in North Carolina were among the first reported fatalities linked to Hurricane Florence.
"And it's just a Category 1 hurricane", Tarr said.
More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia and thousands have moved to emergency shelters.
Wright is far from the only resident in the Carolinas that chose to weather Hurricane Florence, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, though many who chose to stay are starting to reconsider their decision of sticking around for what North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called a "1,000-year event". The coming storm surges and heavy rains will cause severe flooding that may submerge parts of the Carolinas in up to 40 inches of rain.