More than 26,000 were in shelters.
More than 800,000 homes and businesses have lost power and Mr Cooper said the danger from flooding would linger for days. North Carolinians have had to evacuate their homes, and are left with uncertainty as to whether or not they'll have homes to return to when the waters recede.
Record flooding recorded in several areas.
"BREAKING. We've observed a one-minute period of sunshine at the NWS Raleigh office", the NWS said on Twitter.
"Florence will continue to produce heavy rain across the Southeast as the system moves slowly inland", the NWS said on its website. We have no power, and I'm at Costco, which I understand from GasBuddy is the only place in Wilmington that now has gas, and the line goes out the gas station, it winds through the Costco parking lot, and it goes around the block, down a couple streets.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, maximum peril could come days later as all that water drains, overflowing rivers and causing flash floods.
Nearby Pender County, north of Wilmington, also is running out of fuel, Commissioner Jackie Newton said. "Thus far we have no known fatalities as a result of the impact of the storm", said Stephens. Utilities said some outages could last for weeks.
► North Carolina's New Bern and Wilmington experienced severe flooding and extensive building damage. He said any electric wires on the ground should be considered risky and avoided by the public. Two tornadoes came through town, one pretty close to us, and pictures came off the walls, and then we had some flooding in the front of our house.
Weinmann plucked 10 people out of flooded neighborhoods and brought them to a shelter in New Bern.
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The county had been conducting water rescues since Thursday, Parker said.
The port town of Wilmington woke Friday to the noise of exploding electric transformers with powerful gusts tossing highway signals as well as other particles along with water in virtually all directions, based on an AFP reporter at the site. The New York Times reports more than 1,000 people have needed rescue from rising floodwaters.
Residential streets have turned into rivers. Construction trash should be separated from leaves and limbs, he stressed.
With the rain pausing for the first time since Friday, local resident Logan Sosebee pulled out his kayak to carry food and supplies to those who need it on the other side of the flooded river. She said there were "tractor trailer loads" of goods and services headed for the city.
About 800,000 people across two states were without power yesterday. A Sunday service at Greenleaf Christian church was cancelled. She said Scotty Murphy, RCS interim director, was coordinating the effort.
Anyone wishing to donate money can do so at continuetogive.com/florence relief, by texting 715-803-4772, or by messaging 485-2156. They have nothing at this point. "The threat of flooded roads keeps spreading", he said. It's going to wipe us out or kill us.
"This was an extraordinary event", she added, "but this is an extraordinary community".
Rescue crews negotiated downed trees and power lines to reach stranded residents, Mayor Bill Saffo told WHQR radio.
Her family's homes are still damaged from Matthew, but they survived.