Hurricane Florence has come and gone through North and SC, but its heavy rains and storm surge have caused significant flooding in cities and towns across the region.
"It's frightful", said Mitch Colvin, the mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina, in the eastern part of the state, where the rising Cape Fear River was expected to swamp bridges and cut his city in two.
Emergency workers have made at least 1,000 swift-water rescues in North Carolina by early Monday, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said.
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door to door to pull more than 60 people out as the Triangle Motor Inn began to crumble.
Several victims died on flooded roads.
"When the electricity went out we heard weird noises and crashing... and their chimney going down", said Paige Tootoo, pointing to a house across the street.
Near the flooded-out town of New Bern, where about 455 people had to be rescued from the swirling flood waters, water completely surrounded churches, businesses and homes.
"There's too much going on", he told a news conference.
For many, the water is not the only hazard, but also the loss of power. Multiple locations in North Carolina saw more than 76cm of rain, making this the wettest tropical system to ever hit the US East Coast.
A boring, leaden sky hung over Grifton on Sunday.
Death toll from Florence rises, officials urge caution as storm continues | Charlotte Observer
"I have everything I need for my whole family", Merlos said. "But the current is insane".
"The worst is yet to come", as river levels rise to historic levels, said Zach Taylor, an NWS meteorologist. "I'm a bit anxious for my home".
"The storm has never been more risky than it is now", North Carolina's emergency management office said on Twitter, quoting Governor Roy Cooper. "The risk is growing as well in the mountains, where rains could lead to risky landslides", he said.
- A mother and a child were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Parts of the Mid-Atlantic as far north as southern NY and New England are set to receive additional rainfall, and a few tornadoes are possible in the region stretching from northeastern SC to southern Pennsylvania on Monday.
Seventeen deaths have now been attributed to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, including a 1-year-old boy from Union County who was swept away by floodwaters.
At least two people died from electrocution while attempting to connect their generators, while one couple died of monoxide poisoning from running their generator indoors.
In North Carolina City, a city of 120,000 people, all roads in and out of the city are underwater.
"The agriculture industry, the largest industry in our state is hard-hit".
"Fast water continues to flow under I-95 in Dillion County", Beres tweeted Monday, adding a video of rushing swamp water flowing under the interstate.
The cost of the damage is expected to reach $15 billion for North Carolina, $2 billion for SC and $1 billion elsewhere, said Chuck Watson, a disaster researcher at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. And if those shelters fill up, he said, the state will open up more. Farther inland, this rainfall will cause new areas of river flooding, flash flooding, and even a potential for landslides in and near the Appalachians. "Driving is treacherous and flooding is impacting our ability to restore power".