Rescue crews in Onslow County helped evacuate 70 people from a Jacksonville hotel early Friday after the roof collapsed and rain rushed in.
It is not know if the dolphins came into shore to find shelter from the storm or if they were dragged in the the high winds.
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By Saturday morning, top sustained winds had weakened to 50 mph as it moved farther inland at 2 mph about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.
"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".
Downed trees reportedly blocked several roads in Richland and Lexington counties Saturday morning, including on Heathwood Circle in Columbia and Hayride Road in Gilbert. The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising.
A slowing tropical storm Florence continues to creep along the Carolinas today. "We have started to see the water recede".
Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.
The Navy says nearly 30 Virginia-based ships and 128 aircraft sent away from their bases in the Hampton Roads-area because of now-Tropical Storm Florence have been given the go-ahead to return.
Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue. Both Wilmington International Airport and Fort Macon suffered gusts of 105 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.
In one piece of good news authorities said that 16 wild ponies of hurricane-struck Ocracoke Island, located off the North Carolina coast, were safe.
"The amount of water and the storm surge was very overwhelming", he said. "More than likely it's maybe a mindset of 'we've been through this before, '" he said.
First responders in North Carolina are scrambling to rescue residents stranded in the coastal town of New Bern.
The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix.