Hurricane Florence made landfall around 7:15 a.m. on Friday near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and the impact is already evident.
Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm by mid-morning, but the storm is lingering on the coast with wind gusts over 90 mph.
Rain seems to be the biggest problem facing the Carolinas as the storm sputters, causing storm surge and flooding.
Forecasters say there could be as much as 3 inches of rain every hour over the next 24 to 48 hours along the coast.
The mayor of New Bern, North Carolina, said 200 people were rescued overnight from their flood-damaged homes and 150 more were in need of assistance.
Officials in North Carolina have reported that more than 500,000 people are without power, with that number expecting to grow.
#HurricaneFlorence wind blows out our hotel sign. I was standing under it doing a live hit just 3 minutes before this happened. Timing is everything. @fox5dc @foxandfriends @DaveFox5DC #FlorenceHurricane2018 #fox5florence pic.twitter.com/ppWPgynuyV— Gary McGrady (@garyfox5dc) September 14, 2018
In both South Carolina and North Carolina, thousands of people have checked in to local storm shelters as the hurricane passes.
"The storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said during his Friday news conference.
More than 4,000 National Guard soldiers and 40,000 electric workers have been mobilized in response to the storm.
Over 1,000 flights along the East Coast have also been canceled due to Hurricane Florence, with more expected throughout the weekend as the storm moves inland.
Rescue workers from Township No. 7 Fire Department and volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team use a boat to rescue a woman and her dog from their flooded home in James City, North Carolina. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
More than 1.7 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders and more than 10 million people live in places under storm watch or warnings.
"This is not the end of it," Jeff Byard, FEMA associate administrator, said. "Twenty-four to 36 hours remain of a significant threat from heavy rain, heavy surge, not just in North Carolina but obviously down as we move in to South Carolina."
Many videos and photos have surfaced on social media over the last 24 hours of damaged homes, flooded streets and winds knocking down trees in the Carolinas.
The National Weather Service is warning inland residents about an increased threat of landslides and debris flows across the mountains and foothills this weekend.