The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns that the hurricane continues to dump heavy rain on parts of North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina and that flash flooding will continue.

Flood waters are seen around homes in a flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Fayetteville, NC on Monday, September 17, 2018.
Flood waters are seen around homes in a flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, in Fayetteville, NC on Monday, September 17, 2018. (AP)

Rain-gorged rivers threatened further flooding in storm-battered North Carolina on Monday as the death toll from Hurricane Florence, now a tropical depression, rose to 32.

"River flooding is dynamic and it's happening all over our state," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told reporters.

"This is an epic storm that is still continuing," Cooper said. "This is a monumental disaster for our state."

A tornado watch was issued for parts of North and South Carolina as emergency management officials also warned of the potential for dam failures and landslides.

Cooper said there have been 25 confirmed storm-related deaths in North Carolina from Florence, which made landfall on the state's Atlantic coast on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.

"We hope there are not more," he said.

At least six deaths have been confirmed in neighboring South Carolina with the latest being the driver of a pickup truck who drove into standing water in Lexington County.

Authorities in Virginia said one person was dead after an apparent tornado.

Flooding worries increased in Virginia, where roads were closed and power outages were on the rise. In all, about 420,000 homes and businesses in three states were in the dark. Most of the outages were in North Carolina.

TRT World's Nicole Johnston has more. 

More than a dozen rivers across North Carolina were at major flood stage on Monday or threatening to rise to critical levels.

Nearly one metre of rain 

The National Weather Service released rainfall totals for parts of North Carolina. The largest amount so far was in Elizabeth town, which has received nearly 1 metre of rain. 

The most rainfall recorded in South Carolina was in the town of Loris, where 0.6 metres fell.

In Fayetteville, the Cape Fear River was expected to reach major flood stage at 17.6 metres on Monday and to hit nearly 8.9 metres on Tuesday before receding.

Elevated risks 

More than half a million customers in the Carolinas were still without electricity on Monday, according to emergency officials.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that Florence continues to dump heavy rain on parts of North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina.

"Flash flooding will continue over portions of the western mid-Atlantic regions," the NHC said.

The National Weather Service said there is an "elevated risk for landslides" in North Carolina. 

State officials said there had been a small dam breach that did not cause any significant damage and they were monitoring other structures closely.

The deadly storm still had abundant rain and top winds around 35 kph.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies