WHAT'S HAPPENING: Rain, floods still in Florence's forecast


In North Carolina, fears of what could be the worst flooding in the state's history led officials to order tens of thousands to evacuate, though it wasn't clear how many had fled or even could.

Power outages from Hurricane Florence have impacted about one million residents in two states.

Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence slowly crawled over South and North Carolina, dumping heavy rains on already flood-swollen river basins that authorities warned could bring more death and destruction.

That has seen the band of flood risk shift north with the most likely areas for flooding being between northwest North Carolina and southern New England before the storm eventually dies out, something that authorities predict will happen at some point on Tuesday.

"A lot of people have evacuated already", said Denise Harper, a resident of Grifton, a small North Carolina town threatened by rising water levels in a nearby creek and the River Neuse.

"We are expecting several more days of rain", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

The storm killed 17 people in North Carolina, including a mother and child hit by a falling tree, state officials said.

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.

Some residents said they made a decision to stay because many emergency shelters don't accept pets. "If you are still without power we have not forgotten you". "This is for real", Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin (D) told residents.

The center said the storm would dump as much as 40 inches (102 cm) of rain along coastal areas of the Carolinas, as well as up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia.

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"We're going to try to spread out supplies as best we can in the areas that need it the worst, understanding that our citizens in Woodrow, off of Oaks Road, are in desperate need".

As of Saturday, about 676,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC. The streets were mostly deserted and some were blocked by fallen trees. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and SC in the bulls-eye.

In Belville, just south of Leland, some shops had power restored on Sunday.

"Don't make yourself someone who needs to be rescued".

"So far we've been holding up pretty well", said McLean, 72, a self-employed heating and air conditioning contractor.

"We were stir-crazy from being inside so long", Moore said. Police were guarding the door of one store, AP said, which would only let 10 people in at a time.

The death toll from Florence rose to at least 20, and crews elsewhere used helicopters and boats to rescue people trapped by still-rising rivers.

Kaiden's mom, who has not been named publicly, was driving along North Carolina Highway 218 on Sunday when they encountered a barricade across the roadway, the office said. The flooding could taint waterways with murky coal ash. But its slow march over the two states, crawling west at only 2 miles per hour (3 km per hour), is expected to leave large parts of the region deluged in the coming days. The river is still expected to rise over the next day and crest at 61.8 feet.

Donald Trump said federal emergency workers, first responders and law enforcement officials were "working really hard" in the extreme weather.

Trump, who plans to visit the region this week, tweeted his condolences to the families and friends of those who died.