Major river flooding expected to continue into early next week.
At least four people have reportedly been killed.
Wright is far from the only resident in the Carolinas that chose to weather Hurricane Florence, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, though many who chose to stay are starting to reconsider their decision of sticking around for what North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called a "1,000-year event". It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, but is not going anywhere fast.
In the besieged city of New Bern, rescuers had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters by midmorning Friday, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said. Dozens more were rescued from a collapsed motel.
Roberts said early estimates show about 4,300 residences and 300 commercial buildings had been damaged.
South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding.
Mr Hanks said a fourth person died while checking on his hunting dogs, and authorities believe he was blown over by the wind.
Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.
"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.
As it moves near OH and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low.
New Bern police have issued a 24-hour mandatory curfew starting at 7 a.m. Friday morning.
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But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.
Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches more. Eventually, a volunteer rescue team from IN arrived with a boat and rescued them.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, however, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.
Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.
More than 760,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".
The monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to one meter. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 10 centimetres of water, he calculated.
In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril. "If the number seems really insane high, you always have to have some suspicion until we can actually get out and verify it".
"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change.
Numerous calls are from residents who are trapped in their homes, some of whom reported floodwater rising up to the second floor.
"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..."
Jacob Fernandez (left) and Josh Fernandez play around on the tree that fell near their home as Hurricane Florence passed through the area on Friday in Bolivia, N.C. She was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited help.
"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".
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