A woman walks along a flooded street after leaving her homeless encampment that was washed away by Hurricane Matthew in Savannah, Ga.(Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press)
A woman is lashed by wind in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as Hurricane Matthew moves up the East Coast.(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)
A section of Highway A1A destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Flagler Beach, Fla.(Eric Gay / Associated Press)
David Reedy braves the wind and rain as Hurricane Matthew hits the Isle of Palms, S.C.(Mic Smith / Associated Press)
A resident of Charleston, S.C., makes his way along flooded Battery Street with a rake to clear debris from clogged gutters in the wake of Hurricane Matthew(Brian Blanco / Getty Images)
Residents begin to clear away a fallen tree blocking access to the Frederick Hahn Bridge that links Tybee Island to Savannah, Ga.(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)
A resident walks alongside a damaged boardwalk in Atlantic Beach, Fla., after Hurricane Matthew passed through the area.(Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers use a boat in a flooded area in Savannah, Ga., after Hurricane Matthew passed through the area.(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)
A car drives past a downed tree as Hurricane Matthew moves through Daytona Beach, Fla., on Friday.(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)
A man braces himself against winds as Hurricane Matthew moves through Daytona Beach on Friday.(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)
Rob Napier, 48, right, and his son Robbie, 20, of Merritt Island, Fla., survey an uprooted tree in a neighbor’s yard Friday.(Red Huber / Orlando Sentinel)
Kaleigh Black, 14, left, and Amber Olsen, 12, run for cover as a squall with rain and wind from the remnants of Hurricane Matthew pelts them as they explore the Cocoa Beach Pier on Friday.(Douglas R. Clifford / Associated Press)
Trees sway from heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew in front of Exploration Tower in Cape Canaveral, Fla.(Craig Rubadoux / Associated Press)
Lailoni Kent, 8, screams when the pull of the wave was stronger than she thought while playing on the beach with her family on Lantana Beach while Hurricane Matthew created big waves in Lantana, Fla.(Greg Lovett / Associated Press)
Lights are out on Highway A1A from the winds of Hurricane Matthew in Cocoa Beach, Fla.(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
A man walks past heavy surf caused by Hurricane Matthew in Cocoa Beach, Fla.(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
A downed tree from high winds rests against a car in a residential community after Hurricane Matthew passed through in Ormond Beach, Fla.(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Flags blow in the wind from Hurricane Matthew in Cocoa Beach, Fla.(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
A billboard canvas flaps in the wind after Hurricane Matthew passed offshore in North Palm Beach, Fla.(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)
A Seminole mobile home park resident climbs over an uprooted tree in Fort Pierce, Fla.(Cristobal Herrera / EPA)
A firefighter carries a woman to her bus at the Civic Center during an evacuation ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Savannah, Ga.(Josh Galemore / Associated Press)
Waves crash ashore as Hurricane Matthew approaches Singer Island, Fla.(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
Jose Paseta of Hallandale, Fla., walks along Hollywood Beach amid the beginnings of Hurricane Matthew.(Michael Laughlin / Sun Sentinel)
Strong rain and winds hit Titusville, Fla., before the landfall of Hurricane Matthew.(Bruce Weaver / AFP/Getty Images)
People take photographs on Juno Beach in Palm County, Fla., with Hurricane Matthew en route.(Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel)
Savannah residents board evacuation buses heading to Augusta, Ga.(Josh Galemore / Savannah Morning News)
Mark Oliver surfs the rising waves of Dania Beach for his sponsor in Hollywood, Fla.(Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Rain-drenched people leave Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando.(Gregg Newton / AFP-Getty Images)
The evening commute in Jacksonville, Fla.(Jewel Samad / AFP-Getty Images)
Hurricane warning flags are raised in Isle of Palms, S.C.(Mic Smith / Associated Press)
Traffic stacks up on Interstate 75 near McDonough, Ga., as people flee Hurricane Matthew.(Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Business owners Jacob Ortiz, left, and Ryan Fischer board up their building in Titusville, Fla.(Bruce Weaver / AFP-Getty Images)
Gas stations that ran out of fuel wrapped their pumps in Titusville, Fla.(Bruce Weaver / AFP-Getty Images)
A rush for gas in Titusville, Fla.(Bruce Weaver / AFP-Getty Images)
Getting ready for Hurricane Matthew in Orlando, Fla.(Gregg Newton / AFP-Getty Images)
Evacuees take shelter at a high school in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Towns across North Carolina ordered new evacuations Sunday as rising rivers threatened to flood a vast area, dwarfing the initial destruction left over the weekend by Hurricane Matthew.
Torrential rain battered the state on Sunday, leading to fears of massive flooding as the remnants of the storm — which has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone — continued to wreak havoc.
More than 120 miles from the coast, the city of Fayetteville experienced heavy flooding and remained under a curfew Sunday night. Four people who disappeared Saturday are presumed dead.
In the Neuse River Basin, officials in Kinston ordered evacuations. The river is expected to flood on Tuesday and by Friday swell to 30 feet — more than 2 feet above its maximum height following Hurricane Floyd in September 1999, when flooding in the basin destroyed entire towns.
On Sunday, the Cape Fear River north of Fayetteville reached 31 feet, 2 feet over its previous record, and the Lumbee River near Lumberton reached 24 feet, 4 feet over its record high. Both are expected to crest on Monday or Tuesday.
Officials said Matthew had caused at least 17 deaths in the United States, including seven in North Carolina. The storm caused hundreds of deaths in Haiti last week.
The North Carolina deaths involved drivers or their passengers who entered flooded roads, officials said.
Three North Carolina counties closed schools and government buildings until at least Wednesday.
The storm was expected to churn eastward off the coast of North Carolina and continue to weaken into Monday. But officials warned there are plenty of reasons to remain concerned.
The unofficial rainfall totals were staggering: 18 inches in Wilmington, 14 inches in Fayetteville and 8 inches in Raleigh, the Associated Press reported.
“We will not see the rivers peak possibly until Monday and Tuesday. Our models show very, very dangerous conditions as those rivers go over their edges,” Gov. Pat McCrory said Sunday morning. “This storm is not over for North Carolina.”
Rescue workers have made nearly 900 water rescues, McCrory said, including 200 people from Pinetops, N.C. Some people had clung to trees or the tops of buildings to escape the floodwaters.
Private energy companies and electric cooperatives reported about 750,000 outages statewide.
In South Carolina, Matthew smashed into the coast 40 miles northeast of Charleston, becoming the first storm to make landfall in that state since 2004.
Many coastal areas remained without power Sunday. Interstate 95, the East Coast’s main artery, was reopened Saturday after a brief closure, but gas stations and restaurants along the route remained shuttered.
Local officials requested that an evacuation order continue in four coastal and lowland South Carolina counties, including Beaufort, the county that encompasses Hilton Head.
In Hardeeville, cars filled with tourists in Hilton Head T-shirts cloistered around plastic-covered gas pumps, waiting for the pumps to turn back on.
Thomas Burly, 30, sat in the back of his white Ford pickup with three friends, all of them evacuees from the storm that struck their homes on Hilton Head Island.
When they had to flee, they first traveled to the mainland city of Asheville on Thursday. A room cost $100. By the next morning, the hotel was charging $340 for the same space.
Burly and his friends relocated to Atlanta, where they spent Friday night, and finally moved to Hardeeville on Saturday, the inland town where deputies from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office staffed a checkpoint and turned away everyone except first-responders.
“It could be days before we’re back,” said Burly, whose home appeared dry and whole in photos sent by a neighbor. “It’s a hurri-cation.”
In addition to the seven deaths in North Carolina, there were four reported in Florida, three in Georgia and one in South Carolina, the AP reported.
6:40 p.m.: This article was updated with reporting on the threat of flooding and other details.
11:15 a.m.: This article was updated throughout with Times staff reporting.
This article was originally published at 8:50 a.m.