"We're in a floodplain but a hundred-year one", he said as floodwaters lapped at the house's front steps. Sixteen rivers in the state have reached major flood stages, with three more expected to peak in the next two days, he said.
But the vast rainfall from Hurricane Florence and its aftermath left clinics closed and hospitals isolated in flood-ravaged North Carolina.
Rescue teams searched overnight for a 1-year-old boy swept away outside Charlotte, North Carolina, after rushing water pushed his mother's vehicle off the road, the Union County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook.
More than 340,000 customers were without power on Tuesday morning, according to power companies, down from a peak of almost 1 million outages.
Water levels of the Cape Fear, Lumber, Neuse, Little, Black and Haw rivers and Contentnea Creek are expected to continue rising in coming hours, according to the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network's Flood Impact Summary Report.
Cooper said 2,600 people were rescued in North Carolina, along with 300 animals, and that the rescues were continuing.
The rain finally stopped and the sun peeked through on Monday, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned that dangerously high water would persist for days.
It has dumped up to 100cm of rain on North Carolina since Thursday, the NWS said. Officials said they will open roads as flooding recedes and downed trees and power lines are cleared away. It will make federal money available to people in the counties of Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender.
"Hope and pray the water goes down", Meier said.
Mayor Bill Saffo said he was working with the governor's office to get more fuel into Wilmington.
Roads remain treacherous, he said, and some are still being closed for the first time as rivers swelled by torrential rains inland drain toward the Atlantic.
Trump said nearly 20,000 military personnel and federal workers were deployed to help with the aftermath of Florence in the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic, and they would "do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe".
Speaking with members of the press outside of the Craven County Courthouse, Cooper said state and local governments have to figure out how to rebuild their communities after the destruction of Hurricane Florence.
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Rain projections also increased, with some locations along the North Carolina coast now expected to get up to 40 inches. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
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