"There's just so much debris".
Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday.
"This is going to be a very trying period for the state", he said."We're liable to have flash floods, bridges and roads washed out". "It's going to be months".
Wright is far from the only resident in the Carolinas that chose to weather Hurricane Florence, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, though many who chose to stay are starting to reconsider their decision of sticking around for what North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called a "1,000-year event".
The National Hurricane Center said the storm would move further inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern SC on Friday and Saturday. But its progress had slowed to a crawl of 2 miles per hour.
Rain ranging from one to three and a half feet has already fallen, and it's not over.
Florence, which arrived on land as a category one hurricane, will be the first test of the Trump administration's response to a major natural disaster since Hurricane Maria pounded the United States territory of Puerto Rico in 2017.
As he speaks, the camera zooms out and two people in shorts walk behind him, apparently without any strain or struggle, before the camera zooms back onto Seidel and then cuts to a map. "But every neighborhood seems to have been affected". Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.
"It's an emergency situation".
Accuweather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said the worst is far from over.
Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.
Mr Trump's declaration, announced on Saturday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in relation to eight counties in the state, means additional federal funding can be used to help people in Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender counties.
Members of Onslow County emergency look to see if a passenger was still in a vehicle that was overtaken by flooding on US Route 17 outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina on September 15, 2018 during Tropical Storm Florence.
Storm Florence has battered the eastern USA coast with non-stop rain, surging seawater and howling winds.
The National Hurricane Center says the eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Florence was centered about 15 miles (25 kilometers) north-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and about 55 miles (90 kilometers) east-southeast of Florence, South Carolina. Both cities could see 6 to 10 inches of rain with locally higher amounts. Maximum sustained winds remained at 50 miles per hour (80 kph).
Florence drove almost 1 million people from their homes and almost 700,000 lost power.
Forecasters say prolonged rainfall from Florence could produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding.
The National Hurricane Center said as much as 40in (102cm) was expected on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC. The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach.