"A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house", police tweeted Friday afternoon. "The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries".
A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her.
Across the two states there are some 30,000 people staying in emergency shelters.
Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm and flooding from the heavy rain is forcing hundreds of people to call for emergency rescues in the area around New Bern, North Carolina, which sits at the confluence of the Nuese and Trent rivers.
Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after stalking the coastline for days.More news: Week 1 setback doesn’t change anything for David Johnson and the Cardinals
The total extent of devastation from Florence, which has turned from a hurricane into a tropical storm, remains unknown as rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in the Carolinas.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, Florence was inching west at 3 mph (6 kph), with its center located about 50 miles (85 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
"We have 4,200 damaged homes", he said, urging residents to not wade out into the streets because of the dangers posed by downed power lines. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they are seeing the floodwaters rise".
Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch. They ventured out in life jackets into the waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree.
The body of a 77-year-old man, also in Kinston, was found by his family at his home, and it is believed he died when he was blown down after going outside to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said. "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was, â€ he said. â€œThis is a 500- or 1,000-year event. â€Eudy´s family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said".
Even as the winds abated, the waters rose. The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising.More news: Israeli army destroys huts built to oppose demolition of Khan al Ahmar
In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges up to 10 feet (3 meters), authorities were rescuing stranded residents and taking stock of damages. Numerous evacuees took their pets.
The center said the storm would dump as much as 40 inches (102 cm) of rain along coastal areas of the Carolinas, as well as up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia.
South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding. Trump plans a visit to the region next week. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the U.S. electrical grid.
Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has been lashed by torrential rains and near-hurricane force winds, CBS News correspondent Don Dahler reported.
As the United States dealt with Florence, a strong typhoon tore across the northern tip of the Philippines, killing at least three people, wrecking homes and triggering landslides before heading toward Hong Kong and southern China. Super Typhoon Mangkhut was expected to hit an area in the Philippines on Saturday that would affect 5.2 million people.More news: Most Palestinians mistrust Trump, oppose dialogue with US