More than 485,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm will eventually push westward and make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic region and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.
Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.
A simulation of Florence for Saturday as the storm tracks over SC.
Florence had been downgraded to a Category One hurricane before landfall, but forecasters say it is still capable of delivering a lethal punch.
The storm has slowed down and is forecast to travel across SC after it makes landfall.
The advisory read: "This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".
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"We've got to quickly understand the damage that's been done to the transportation systems, the communication systems, the power systems, and we are positioning, and have bene positioned for multiple days now, to get those critical lifelines back up and stable as quickly as we can", he said. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).
The hurricane is now centered about 220 miles (354km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and 170 miles to the south-east of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Cuthbert Langley, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in South Carolina, told HuffPost that the organization has more than 1,500 disaster response volunteers spread across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
WXII-TV reports the city of New Bern said Friday that two out-of-state FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more teams were on the way.
According to Fire Chief Glen Rogers, there are in fact only 12 people left on the beach to sit out the storm.
Issac is expected to slowly drift through the eastern and central Caribbean waters through the weekend, not too far from Jamaica, but won't be much of a threat. Through Sunday evening, more than 20 inches of rain could fall in southeast North Carolina and far northeast SC on top of what has already fallen.
On top of the potentially destructive hurricane, forecasters also put parts of North Carolina on tornado watch.
The system is expected to bring its gusty winds, which extend some 140 miles from its center, and heavy rains to the Azores, according to the National Hurricane Center. A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina.