About 150 people are waiting to be rescued in New Bern, North Carolina, where water levels reached 10 feet overnight.
Volunteers are using private boats to pitch in and help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said.
The downtown area, at the confluence of two rivers, is mostly underwater.
“You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU,” the city said on Twitter.
Craven County spokeswoman Amber Parker said the situation was dire in New Bern, which is southeast of Greenville, with some residents trapped on their roofs.
“I would say certain areas of New Bern are very desperate,” Parker told ABC News on Friday. “There are people that can be trapped in water, in vehicles, on roofs. That’s just the situation for anyone.”
The city already experienced heavy flooding Thursday, with waist-deep and shoulder-deep waters.
Hurricane Florence continues to pummel the North Carolina coastline, nearing landfall Friday morning with life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds.
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Source: ABC 13