President Donald Trump plans to visit North Carolina on Wednesday to see the destruction left behind by Hurricane Florence, as well as the difficult relief efforts.
Trump tweeted Tuesday, "Everybody is saying what a great job we are doing with Hurricane Florence — and they are 100% right."
He called federal emergency officials, the military and first responders "unbelievable." But Trump also took a swipe at Democrats, saying they will soon start lying that the storm response has been a "disaster."
The president is angry at what he sees as Democrats inflating the death toll in last year's hurricane in Puerto Rico to make him look bad.
Florence has killed at least 32 people and left entire towns in North Carolina flooded with muddy, fetid water.
Officials across the state are cautioning residents not to be fooled by Tuesday's sunshine, saying more floods are expected this week.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said 16 rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday with three more expected to peak by Thursday.
"Road conditions are starting to improve in some parts of our state, but rising creeks, streams and rivers continue to make travel unsafe," Cooper said.
Parts of two major interstate highways were still under water Tuesday. Cooper warned residents of some coastal towns — including Wilmington, which was completely cut off from the outside world by flooding — to resist the temptation to return to their homes.
He sympathized with those who were forced to flee and are now relying on government-distributed boiled water and ready-to-eat field rations.
"I know it was hard to leave home and it is even harder to wait and wonder whether you even have a home to go back to," Cooper said.
Experts say the storm dumped more than 30 trillion liters of rain on North Carolina. Florence was an extremely slow-moving storm that hovered off the coast before moving inland, soaking up tremendous amounts of moisture.
The risk management firm Moody's Analytics said damage from Florence in North Carolina could be as high as $22 billion.
Florence is now a large low-pressure system and rainstorm moving across New England and into the Canadian Maritime provinces, but not before making itself felt in the mid-Atlantic with soaking rains and flash floods.
Florence spawned 16 tornadoes Monday in central Virginia, killing one person.