When a hurricane hits, people often focus too much on its category – which only measures wind – and not on the massive amounts of rain that accompany a storm.
For days, federal and state emergency managers cautioned that Hurricane Florence’s danger was primarily about rainfall and catastrophic flooding, as rivers overflowed throughout the Carolinas and into Virginia.
Especially now that pockets of sunshine have broken out, and the rain is gone, it’s easy to think the worst is over.
But take a look: the map below shows gauges monitored by the National Weather Service that measure where rivers were flooding on Saturday, a day after Florence made landfall in North Carolina.
That might not look too bad, all things considered, right?
But take a look at how many more flooding events were recorded by Sunday night.
And finally, here is what things looked like along the rivers as of Tuesday afternoon. Four days after Florence made landfall, 45 gauges now measure flooding along rivers throughout the region.
And there could be more challenges ahead – the Cape Fear River in North Carolina may not crest until later Tuesday or even Wednesday, where it could reach an estimated 61.5 feet near Fayetteville.
In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster warned residents that the waters hadn’t crested there either in many areas. He said with the wind and rain gone, the state’s emergency resources are being marshaled to combat river flooding.
“We’ve had two threats. One is the hurricane with the wind and the water and the surge, and that part is over,” McMaster said. “But the second part, which has been predicted with great certainty, is the flooding, and we know it’s coming.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts contributed to this report.