TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Florence is now a tropical life-threatening storm crawling slowly across North and South Carolina with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding that killed at least five people, including a mother and her infant.

Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 mph, and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 mph.

Tropical Storm Florence is crawling slowly across South Carolina as life-threatening storm surges and strong winds are expected to continue overnight, amid a rising inland flood threat. Forecasters say catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over parts of North Carolina and South Carolina ahead.

At least five people have died in the storm.

As Florence moves further inland over the coming days, the storm is expected to gradually weaken. Forecasters say it could become a depression by Saturday night, CBSnews reported.

The National Weather Service said on Twitter on Friday night that Morehead City had received 23.04 inches of rain with more heavy rain coming.

Forecasters have issued what they call a a flash flood emergency, saying areas of surrounding Carteret County are flooding that have never flooded before.

Forecasters say it is especially dangerous after dark because people trying to escape may not realize how deep flood water is on roads.

Officials recommend anyone whose home starts to flood get to the highest point they can and call 911.

About 500 people had to be rescued in flooding early Friday in New Bern, which is about 30 miles north of Morehead City.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU," the city tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU."

Boat teams including volunteers rescued some 360 residents, including Sadie Marie Holt, 67, who first tried to row out of her neighborhood during Florence's assault.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard … We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees," said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled. She was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited assistance.