Members of the North Carolina National Guard finish stacking sand bags under a highway overpass near the Lumber River which is expected to flood from Hurricane Florence's rain in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018.
The child's father was transported to a hospital with injuries, according to Wilmington police. A woman in Pender County, North Carolina, died from a heart attack after calling emergency services, as paramedics could not reach her because of fallen trees.
Two people died in Lenoir County.
A 77-year-old in Lenoir County is believed to have died after he was blown away by heavy winds while attempting to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.
North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper described the storm as "an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". Cooper cited a National Weather Service forecast that said almost the entire state could be covered in several feet of water. In the port city of Wilmington, residents awoke to the sound of power transformers blowing up, plunging homes into darkness as Hurricane Florence's howling winds whipped through the streets sending metal signs, water and debris flying.
Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) but authorities warned the danger was far from over, predicting that "life-threatening storm surges and strong winds" would persist through the night. Maximum winds at the time were 90 miles per hour, reported the NHC.
Early Saturday morning Florence's winds weakened to 65 mph (100 kph) as it moved forward at 5 mph (7 kph) and was about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west northwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "Plant procedures call for the reactors to be shut down before the anticipated onset of hurricane-force winds", agency spokesman Joey Ledford told CNN. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter. They ventured out in life jackets into the waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree. His mom remembers Hurricane Hazel, when the water did not rise as high as his fifth step, where it was Thursday night. Numerous evacuees took their pets.
Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 30 inches of rain, the US Geological Survey reported.
On Friday, the White House said President Donald Trump had spoken with officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.
Trump visited all three areas past year. The man's family found his body Friday morning at his home, Dail said.
Just a few minutes before the now-Category 1 storm made landfall, cameras on board the International Space Station managed to catch the mesmerising footage below.
Significant weakening is expected over the weekend, though this will not decrease the risk of catastrophic flooding.
He picked up 10 people on one run and took them to a shelter.