Several rivers, including the Haw, Cape Fear, Neuse and Tar, are expected to flood and become a problem over the weekend. The Tar River in Tarboro is expected to crest Sunday morning at 31.7 feet (flood stage is 19 feet and major flood stage is 32 feet).
The Neuse River could crest at 22 feet (flood stage is 15 feet and major flood stage is 20 feet) in Smithfield on Saturday morning while the Cape Fear River could crest on Saturday night.
Governor Roy Cooper on Friday declared a State of Emergency in response.
"This storm has already claimed several lives, and everyone should exercise caution by avoiding flooded roads and areas along swollen creeks and rivers," he said. "Our prayers go out to the families and friends of those who were injured or killed by these devastating floods."
Multiple bodies have been found at a flooded campground in Hiddenite. A state search and rescue task force arrived Thursday night in Alexander County to assist in the search for other missing people.
One death was reported in Wake County, where a child drowned in a creek. The State Highway Patrol reports several additional fatalities from weather-related collisions or accidents in Iredell, Alexander, Rockingham and Person counties.
Local states of emergency have been declared in Alexander, Burke, Catawba, Iredell and Yadkin counties.
Numerous water rescues occurred Thursday across the state. The National Weather Service is estimating more than 9 inches of rain fell in Rocky Mount and Harrisburg. Many other areas saw estimated rainfall amounts between 4 inches and 9 inches, exceeding weather forecasts.
Major flooding is forecast along the Neuse River and Contentnea Creek and moderate flooding is forecast along the Cashie, Dan, Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear, Lumber, Tar, South Fork Catawba, Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers.