Mother Lesha Murphy-Johnson and her baby, Zac, were killed after being trapped inside their home in Wilmington when a tree fell onto the roof at around 9.30am on Friday.
Officials say two people died in Lenoir County.
A 68-year-old man was electrocuted at a residence on Silver Smith Circle Friday morning when he was trying to connect two extension cords outside in the rain.
"With having five kids and my husband's stuck at work on standby for his job at the hospital it was just easier for us to stay at our home where we have all of our things", she said.
"If you could get to a second level somewhere, you might - you might have a chance to be able survive this level of storm surge flooding". My wifes in a panic right now.
The National Hurricane Center says top sustained winds have dropped to near 50 miles per hour (80 kph) with higher gusts, and Florence is expected to become a tropical depression later Saturday. Heavy rain has fallen in and around Oriental, North Carolina, where 20.37 inches of rainfall has been measured thus far.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence's winds have slowed to tropical storm strength, and said the storm is moving slowly inland with sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and higher gusts.
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First responders in North Carolina are scrambling to rescue residents stranded in the coastal town of New Bern. Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.
"You can walk faster than this storm is moving", said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and theyre seeing the floodwaters rise".
In New Bern, along the coast, aerial photos show homes completely surrounded by water, with rescuers using inflatable boats to reach people. They ventured out in life jackets into waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree.
Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house.
"It will not stop, this weather event of Florence", Begnaud said. Trump planned a visit to the region next week.
It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than one million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.
More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.
In the Philippines, evacuations were under way with Super Typhoon Mangkhut expected to hit on Saturday in an area impacting an estimated 5.2 million people.