Some stream gauges used to monitor river levels failed when they became submerged, but others showed water levels rising steadily, with forecasts calling for rivers to at or near record levels.
The storm's death toll climbed to 14 when a man drowned after a pickup truck flipped into a drainage ditch along a flooded road in SC. Another 30 sites in North and Carolina had at least 10 inches. "The threat of flooded roads keeps spreading", he said. You will be turned away.
Those high waters have kept even Federal Emergency Management Agency crews and Duke Energy trucks away. A curfew is in place, with residents instructed to stay off the streets between 8PM and 6AM to mitigate looting.
The winds have died down but it was terrifying for people here when the hurricane-speed gusts first arrived. Leatherwood said the boy's father and mother were home but were not hurt.
2018 is already the wettest year in the city's 140 years of record-keeping, even with 3½ months left.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -Florence already has proven deadly with its almost nonstop rain, surging seawater and howling winds, and the threat is days from ending as remnants of the once major hurricane slowly creep inland across the Carolinas.
The devastating flooding could last well this week and into the weekend, with rivers remaining in major flood.
In the town of New Bern, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers had to use inflatable boats to reach people. Residents worked to secure the area, filling the gap with sandbags.
At one point Sunday afternoon, part of a makeshift barrier meant to plug a low point in the city's main levee system gave way and river water leaked through - prompting workers to try to shore it back up with construction equipment.
About two dozen truckloads of military MREs and bottled water were delivered overnight to Wilmington, the state's eighth-largest city, officials said. The lined earthen pits that hold treated waste had been a major environmental concern as the flood waters rose.
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.
The city's Cape Fear River is the biggest worry.
"We'll get through this".
"Many of the rivers will see prolonged flooding, some not cresting for a few days".
It was expected to accelerate to the north on Sunday night and then turn eastward across southern New England on Tuesday.
"The storm has never been more risky than it is right now", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference.
Fresh evacuations were ordered further inland as rivers crested and spilled out of their banks.
Brad Zerivitz shot a drone video of downtown Fayetteville for the American Red Cross that illustrates the extent of the flooding.
Of the 20 deaths linked to Florence, 15 happened in North Carolina, and five were in SC. He said early damage estimates are in excess of $6 million.
More than 800,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state.
The wind, rain and flooding also dislodged the city's beloved bear statues.
"I only just had the roof repaired from (Hurricane) Matthew two years ago", another resident told me.
In the Carolinas, some rivers may not crest for days.
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