The child's father was transported to a hospital with injuries, according to Wilmington police.
North Carolina's Harnett County has declared a mandatory evacuation along a river that's expected to rise to more than 17 feet above flood stage.
In Kinston, a city southeast of Raleigh, two people died in the storm. "We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband.
Flood conditions will worsen through the relentless rainfall over the next couple days, officials warned.
"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director.
There have been two fatalities in Kinston as a result of Hurricane Florence, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail. "Central, western, and northeastern NC could get 5-to-10" of rain with isolated totals of 20" possible.
More North Carolina residents and several animals were also rescued Friday night and into Saturday morning in Carteret, the state's third largest county.
"We can't move until the dam itself is resolved", he said. I go into panic mode. "I see the beach communities' being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic".
They discussed response details, and the process of locating downed power lines and trees on roadways and houses.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers.
Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.More news: Uefa Nations League: Superb Spain put six past Croatia
"They've been out there for about six hours now just screaming for help", she said. "We just want prayers from everyone".
Dunn, the mother of a 10-month-old, a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old, said she made a decision to stay behind while others fled.
"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard, that trying to get out we got thrown into trailers". "I am frightened about what's coming". In sum, the storm is turning out to be every bit as devastating as forecasters expected, with trillions of gallons of rain still in the forecast, hundreds of people needing rescue, hundreds of thousands of power outages and a handful of deaths.
Duke Energy is lowering lake levels by moving water along the Catawba river basin in anticipation of the heavy rainfall from the hurricane.
"It's like a bomb has gone off", Zaytoun told "Good Morning America" Friday.
Zaytoun now regrets his decision, he said.
Christy Hall said that when the I-26 lane reversal begins to be dismantled Thursday evening at 6 p.m., that should not be viewed as an indication the mandatory evacuation has been lifted.
Florence "is twice the size of Hurricane Hugo", which tore through the Carolinas in 1989, New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told "GMA".
"We hope all our citizens will be safe, attentive to the situation around them and get through this storm with the least amount of difficulty", Player said.
Earlier this week, more than 1 million people were ordered to evacuate the coastlines of Virginia, North Carolina, and SC. A year later, flooding from Hurricane Matthew caused about 25 dams to fail.
Models agree the storm should strike land between the North Carolina-South Carolina border and the North Carolina Outer Banks, and then track across South Carolina. "We're going to make it through this because we're going to stick together and we're going to work together".