Mr. Trump, still wearing his navy windbreaker, opened the meeting by thanking officials, first responders, utility companies and others for helping neighborhoods recover from Hurricane Florence.
Waterkeeper Alliance has conducted overflights at some of the industrial sites and agricultural operations impacted by Florence and is investigating the possible hazards left in the storm's wake. From that point it left several feet of rain in parts of North Carolina, causing tremendous flooding there, and in SC were up to two feet of rain fell.
He said the country had been better prepared for this hurricane than any in history. "You take care of yourself", he said. "We will never forget your loss".
· "Our hearts break for you; God bless you". In South Carolina, the flooding has damaged cotton, peanut and hemp crops.
The latest victims were two women in SC who drowned on Tuesday when a sheriff's department van in which they were riding was swept away by floodwaters. "And you will recover", he said.
Work crews, he said, have restored power to more than 1.2 million customers in NC and SC, adding that "power is starting to go on as soon as the water goes down". About a dozen rivers in North and SC have overflowed their banks.
Many were outside enjoying the handsome weather Wednesday, he said.
"We want to make sure everyone has adequate time to evacuate if these waters continue to rise and crest at the forecasted levels", he said. Particularly concerning is the continued swelling of the 140-mile long Waccamaw River, which runs through both states.
"We will be there 100 percent", pledged Trump, wearing a wind breaker and khaki trousers. "We are anxious about Friday".
Trump sought to reassure those coping with the mounting disaster, saying during a visit to an emergency response center in South Carolina: "Washington is with you, Trump is with you".
He noted that he visited North Carolina earlier in the day to survey other damage caused by Florence.
"Now it looks nice, but it's really the calm before the storm", he said referring to water draining into rising rivers after Florence's epic deluge over the weekend.
They passed a vehicle buried in floodwaters and called out to see if anyone was in it.
"How's it doing?" the president asked after one woman pointed at a house.
Trump greeted people Wednesday as he walked along a flooded street in the city of Conway, near Myrtle Beach. "It's just hard to explain".
WHAT HE SAID: "Rarely have we had an experience like it and it's certainly not good".
Florence dropped almost 3 feet (1 meter) of rain on North Carolina as the storm moved slowly across the state, flooding towns, closing roads and killing dozens of people. At least 17 of the deaths happened in North Carolina.
Florence, the storm that brought the misery, has gone from a hurricane to a tropical depression to a meandering system that dropped rain over the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage for the Little Pee Dee is 9 feet.
"I think people definitely did listen to warnings", Gillie said.
Cooper warned residents that the rain may have subsided, but the flooding danger is far from over.
Thousands of homes are still underwater in the Carolinas and thousands of families have had to be rescued from the floods.
Evacuees from Pender and Brunswick counties should especially not go home due to flooding, he said.
Some 2,600 people had been rescued by boat or helicopter in North Carolina alone since the storm hit land, according to the state Department of Public Safety. In his words: "I'm trying to get it all out of my head".
"We had significant rainfall. and we're still anticipating that some of the tributaries are draining into the upper Cape Fear".