North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper says the risk to life is "rising with the angry waters" as what is left of Hurricane Florence dumps tons of rain across the state.
"Wherever you live in North Carolina, be alert for sudden flash floods. Pay attention to the weather warnings and be ready to head for safer ground if you're asked to evacuate," Cooper warned residents during Sunday news conference."
"Never drive through flooded roads. Just a few inches of water can wash your car away. And that is already happening out there."
Florence is now a tropical depression, but continues to dump buckets of rain on parts of the southeastern United States as it slowly creeps toward the mid-Atlantic.
At least 16 people have been killed. Entire towns are completely cut off by floodwaters. Major highways are covered and more than 700,000 homes have no power. Many parts of North Carolina are under a tornado watch.
Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long told Fox News Sunday "This is going to be a long, frustrating event" for those who have lost their homes or face substantial damage when they eventually are able to return."
The hurricane agency said it expects Florence will dump up to another 25 centimeters of rain on central and western North Carolina, on top of the 38 to 50 centimeters that has already fallen on the region. It said the additional rain will "produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding, and an elevated risk for landslides in western North Carolina and far southwest Virginia."