They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades.
Just after midnight, the station tweeted that everyone had safely evacuated.
The biggest danger, as forecasters saw it, was not the wind but the water: the storm surge along the coastline and the prospect of 300 to 1000mm of rain over the next several days that could trigger catastrophic flooding in a slow-motion disaster well inland.
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.
'It has already dumped 20-to-30 inches of rain on parts of the Carolinas with more to come, ' he said.
In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods.
The downtown area, at the confluence of two rivers, is mostly underwater. The city tweeted early September 14 that 150 people were awaiting rescue.
On Friday and Saturday, Florence was creeping along at around 2 p.m., which is about as fast as someone could walk.
The US Marines, Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to rescue hundreds of people trapped by Florence's shoreline onslaught.
The American Red Cross is now accepting donations to help those affected by Florence.
Henri Bendel closing: Small piece of bigger problem at L Brands
L Brands Inc., which acquired the brand in 1985, said that the 23 Bendel stores will turn out the lights in January. The store's namesake founder was a women's hatmaker from Louisiana who set up shop in NY in 1895.
Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland yesterday, triggering risky flooding, knocking out power in almost 900,000 homes and businesses, and causing at least eight deaths.
In South Carolina's Myrtle Beach, Victor Shamah, the owner of The Bowery bar, made a decision to open because people 'wanted to eat, they didn't have any place to eat.
Coastal streets flowed with ocean water, and more than 460,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. "And then we will shift into putting our communities back together". Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said, and the governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain. "We knew it was coming, and we're working very hard to keep our citizens safe", Outlaw said.
The port city of Wilmington woke on Friday to the sound of exploding electrical transformers with strong gusts throwing street signs and other debris as well as water in all directions, according to a reporter at the scene.
North Carolina Emergency Management advised residents Friday morning that "If your power goes out, do NOT operate gas powered generators or charcoal grills in or near your home".
Its storm surge and the prospect of 1 to 3 1/2 feet of rain were considered a bigger threat than its winds, which dropped off from an alarming 140 miles per hour - Category 4 - earlier in the week.
Satellites also continue to monitor Hurricane Florence as it passes over North Carolina to help meteorologists make more accurate predictions of how the storm will impact people living in the region. Ballance called the rainfall "biblical", saying he's gotten reports from friends that his downtown seafood restaurant was flooded, just like the rest of the small city's historic downtown, and he's anxious about the hundreds of people who needed to be rescued overnight in the city.
Cinder blocks that were part of the structure were crumbling in some places, and portions of the roof were missing.