The figure included a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house, while a sixth fatality occurred in SC.
Across the Carolinas, officials are sounding the alarm: More communities will flood as rivers collect water from upstream and spill over.
Homes and roads have been utterly submerged by the barrage of rain caused by the remnants of hurricane Florence - now a tropical storm.
In neighboring SC, 155,000 customers are without power, officials said.
Cooper said others should not follow suit.
Hurricane Florence was making landfall in North Carolina early Friday pushing a life-threatening storm surge for miles inland with screaming wind that was destroying buildings in its path.
Hurricane Florence is tearing through the Carolinas with disastrous flooding and record-setting rainfall.
The storm has killed at least five people in North Carolina. The father was hospitalized with injuries.
Gusts reached over 100 miles per hour - the highest recorded in North Carolina since 1958. When they got to the home, the woman was dead.
Two people died in Lenoir County.
The Navy says the aircraft will make their way back beginning Saturday, and the ships will start to return Sunday.
Storm surges - the bulge of ocean water pushed ashore by the hurricane - were as high as 10 feet. They later clarified those deaths were not related to Florence.
Weather Channel Reporter Mocked for Appearing to Exaggerate Florence
Florence's top sustained winds have weakened to 80kmh but it is projected to bring further catastrophic flash flooding. Areas from Wilmington through Fayetteville to Charlotte will experience 500-year to 1,000-year flood events, he said.
"They definitely need to be prepared." he said. The winds howled, and the family escaped to an upper floor bedroom. Local media said she suffered a heart attack. "That's why we've been preaching to people that you have to get away from the water".
Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute. Eventually, a volunteer rescue team from IN arrived with a boat and rescued them.
The center of the eye of the hurricane made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and was moving slowly westward just south of Wilmington.
And on Saturday evening, Duke Energy disclosed that heavy rains had caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina.
It's not just rain in the local area that will torment Conway, forecasters warn.
Over 100 people remain trapped in New Bern, a town on the Neuse River which has been hit hard by rain and flooding.
Volunteers and city workers filled sandbags this morning. They plugged a low point in the city's levee system. "This rainfall will continue to produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the advisory said.
Rainfall totals for the storm will be similar to those in hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in 1999, the National Weather Service's Chris Wamsley said.
Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.
Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.
The storm is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said early on Saturday. Operation BBQ Relief will be serving hungry people this weekend.
Several area non-profits have teams on the East Coast to help give relief. You can help those impacted by the hurricane by donating to the American Red Cross or donating blood at the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City.