Hundreds are still trapped from Florence’s flooding, and ‘the worst is still yet to come’

Updated 4:46 AM EDT, Mon September 17, 2018
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Michael Nelson floats in a boat made from a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded his street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina. Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible 9-foot storm surge as the Category 2 hurricane approaches the United States.
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Michael Nelson floats in a boat made from a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded his street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina. Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible 9-foot storm surge as the Category 2 hurricane approaches the United States.
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NS Slug: NC:FLORENCE-RIVER FLOODING REACHES WINDOWS (STRONG)  Synopsis: Video of flooding from the Pungo River in Belhaven, NC, which has risen dramatically due to Hurricane Florence  Video Shows: Video of flooding from the Pungo River in Belhaven, NC, which has risen dramatically due to Hurricane Florence    Keywords: HURRICANE FLORENCE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES SEVERE WEATHER STORM
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NS Slug: NC:FLORENCE-RIVER FLOODING REACHES WINDOWS (STRONG) Synopsis: Video of flooding from the Pungo River in Belhaven, NC, which has risen dramatically due to Hurricane Florence Video Shows: Video of flooding from the Pungo River in Belhaven, NC, which has risen dramatically due to Hurricane Florence Keywords: HURRICANE FLORENCE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES SEVERE WEATHER STORM
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FROM EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT ALEXANDER GERST:
Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye. Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you. #Horizons
CLEARED: All platforms/affils
COURTESY: Alexander Gerst/ESA
PHOTOS: https://twitter.com/Astro_Alex/status/1039870760343543814
Alexander Gerst/ESA/twitter
FROM EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT ALEXANDER GERST: Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye. Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you. #Horizons CLEARED: All platforms/affils COURTESY: Alexander Gerst/ESA PHOTOS: https://twitter.com/Astro_Alex/status/1039870760343543814
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065106 02: A man stands in a partially destroyed house September 27, 1989 in South Carolina. Hugo is ranked as the eleventh most intense hurricane to strike the US this century and is rated the second costliest with over seven billion dollars in damages. (Photo by Alan Weiner/Liaison)
Alan Weiner/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
065106 02: A man stands in a partially destroyed house September 27, 1989 in South Carolina. Hugo is ranked as the eleventh most intense hurricane to strike the US this century and is rated the second costliest with over seven billion dollars in damages. (Photo by Alan Weiner/Liaison)
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Editor’s Note: Are you affected by Tropical Storm Florence? When it’s safe, text, iMessage or WhatsApp your videos, photos and stories to CNN: 347-322-0415

(CNN) —  

Florence’s merciless deluge has already killed 18, trapped hundreds and made parts of North and South Carolina impassable – and authorities say the worst flooding is yet to come.

The tropical depression will keep dumping rain over parts of North Carolina for the next few days, with numerous rivers expected to crest at major flood stage.

Flooding already is so bad in North Carolina that the state transportation department is telling people not to travel in the state. Numerous highways, including sections of I-95 and I-40, are closed, and road flooding has virtually cut off the coastal city of Wilmington.

More than 900 water rescues have been reported in North Carolina alone, the governor’s office said – but many more people need help. The volunteer United Cajun Navy rescue group says it was helping in Leland, where about 200 people have made calls for help, after it made numerous rescues in Wilmington.

“We’re just chasing the water,” United Cajun Navy President Todd Terrell said Sunday.

And in Lumberton, North Carolina – a city submerged by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 – residents are bracing for potential disaster as the Lumber River seeps through a patched-up gap in the levee system.

What to expect

As of Sunday evening, Florence was centered about 25 miles south-southeast of Greenville, South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said. It was moving west at 14 mph, whipping 35 mph winds.

By the storm’s end, up to 40 inches will fall in southeastern North Carolina and the northeastern tip of South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said. Other parts of the Carolinas will be left with up to 20 inches of rain, causing significant river flooding, with some rivers not cresting until later this week.

Up to 6 more inches of rain could fall in parts of North Carolina and Virginia from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening, forecasters said. The storm should move up into West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and parts of New England by Tuesday, dropping 2 to 4 inches of rain there.