"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later fled her home near New Bern.
"It's disgusting", 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.
The storm killed at least 10 people in North Carolina, including a mother and child killed by a falling tree, state officials said.
Up to 40 inches (102 cm) of rain are expected along coastal areas of the Carolinas and up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia, the NHC said.
The coastal city of Wilmington remained cut off by high flood waters early on Monday, tens of thousands of homes were damaged and at least 17 deaths were reported in North and SC.
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Catastrophic floods raised the threat of dam breaks and landslides across the Carolinas on Sunday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more than a dozen dead and billions of dollars in damage in the southeastern United States.
The effects of Florence won't be fading anytime soon, either, as current forecasts have upwards of 15-to-20 additional inches of rain possible for areas of North and SC will Florence's remnants will linger for the next 48 to 72 hours.
Authorities in the USA state of North Carolina have warned residents that flooding could get worse.
A cross is seen in flood water at a cemetary in Grifton, North Carolina on September 16, 2018.
"Three days of relentless rain from #Florence has resulted in significant flooding in #NC #SC", said Duke Energy, a major power supplier.
At Least 5 Dead from Hurricane Florence
By Friday evening, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm , its winds weakening to 112 km/h as it pushed inland. Would you like to get published on Standard Media websites? The White House said Friday U.S.
A pickup truck drives on a flooded road past a farm house that is surrounded by flooded fields from tropical storm Florence in Hyde County, NC., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. "We want you home but you can't come yet".
More than 900 people were rescued from rising floodwaters and 15,000 remained in shelters in the state, Cooper said.
Good news for the Carolinas as now Tropical Depression Florence moves out of the area.
"As the storm begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear". Almost 800,000 homes in North Carolina are without power and more is expected with gusting winds and fallen trees. They included three who died "due to flash flooding and swift water on roadways", the Duplin County Sheriff's Office reported. "The risk is growing as well in the mountains, where rains could lead to risky landslides", he said.
By Sunday afternoon, Florence's winds had dropped to about 55 km/h, the National Hurricane Center said, with some weakening forecast over the next 24 hours before intensifying once again as an extratropical low-pressure centre. Its winds were down to 35 miles per hour (55 kph). Trump, who plans to visit the region this week, tweeted his condolences.
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Heavy rains bands are still coming onshore in eastern SC and North Carolina on Sunday morning.