Hurricane Matthew delivered historic and deadly flooding to the Carolinas this past week and, while the system is now well out to sea in the North Atlantic, officials warned life-threatening flooding is expected to continue this week.
On Monday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced that 1,500 people in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina, were stranded and water rescues were underway. Swift water rescue teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other states were assisting with recovery.
The Federal Aviation Administration also contributed by issuing a temporary flight restriction over the Lumberton area so aviation activity can focus solely on rescue efforts.
At least 20 people have died in the United States as a result of Matthew, with 10 storm-related deaths occurring in North Carolina. McCrory said five people have been reported missing while more than 1,400 people in the state have already been saved by swift water rescue teams.
Water rescues by FEMA USAR teams ongoing in Lumberton, NC #Matthew pic.twitter.com/F2T1feHPDP— femaregion4 (@femaregion4) October 10, 2016
"Blue skies have returned to North Carolina, but dangerous conditions remain," McCrory said on Monday. "As we have learned from previous hurricanes, the aftermath of the storm is often the deadliest."
State officials urged caution for residents living near rivers, streams and levees in the central and eastern parts of the state. They are also monitoring a number of overtopped or breaching dams in the affected areas.
Many rivers are expected to remain at major flood stage into the weekend. Those include the Tar, Neuse, Cape Fear, Waccamaw, and Little Pee Dee rivers.
"From 6 to 18 inches of rain fell on the eastern parts of the Carolinas this past weekend," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski stated. "The rainfall was a combination of moisture from Hurricane Matthew and a slow-moving front. Moisture from Matthew and the front converged on the region.
There were over 435,000 without power as of 2 p.m. EDT Monday, the North Carolina Emergency Association tweeted.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation said many roads remain impassable, including portions of Interstate 95 and Interstate 40.