The dead included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.
"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life", Gov. Roy Cooper said.
Five deaths have been linked to the storm and thousands of people have been staying in emergency shelters.
Shell said she has one bedroom and a 20-by-40-foot sunroom she estimates could house up to 20 cots.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article reported two deaths in Carteret County, North Carolina. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.
Two men in their 70s were killed in Lenoir County.
"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", Cooper said.
The death toll attributed to Florence stands at 16, including 10 in North Carolina and five in SC, reported AP. Both bodies have now been recovered from the house.
"Great job FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement - not easy, very risky, tremendous talent".
Crews from the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were working with citizen volunteers to get people to dry ground, Roberts said.
Florence kills 5, including infant, in North Carolina, officials say
But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day. Storm surges could reach 11 feet Saturday along coastal areas, particularly between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras.
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Meanwhile, UNC, North Carolina State and Wake Forest all issued statements saying they were monitoring the storm, with N.C. A Category 4 hurricane has winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity.
Storm surge: Up to 13 feet, and seawaters could push inland 2 miles, depending on how long Florence lingers. Many properties within the mumble are now now not willing to handle the extensive flood of water introduced in by a storm surge, she urged World News on Thursday.Here's what the predicted 4-metre storm surge appears cherish.
As 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach scores of people besieged by rising waters along a river.
Police said 150 to 200 residents have been rescued earlier on Friday and 150 or more were still awaiting rescue.
Animal feeding operations above a certain size need to be "designed and operated to handle the rainfall and runoff from 25-year 24-hour storms", Sauerhage said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters.
Officials in the town of 30,000, which dates to the early 18th century, said over 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.
Though forecasters later downgraded Florence to a tropical storm, the monster system is barely moving over the Carolinas and could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet (1 meter).
Forecasters warned that drenching rains of anywhere from 1 to 3½ feet as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.
The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most unsafe place to be as Florence moved ashore.
In Wilmington, numerous trees that contributed to its historic beauty are now gone.
There have been numerous calls for fallen trees, according to officials, however they are not aware of any others where people are trapped. We've got a lot of debris, a lot of covered roads, covered with water. "But there are a lot of big trees around so we preferred to spend the night at a friend's to be sure".