"Most importantly, we give thanks to the incredible first responders, including sheriffs, police officers, firefighters, our great Cajun Navy", Trump said.
Sampling waterways in eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew showed a temporary increase in concentrations of some bacteria and pollutants in spots, according to a 2017 report from the state's Department of Environmental Quality.
More than 15,000 people remain in shelters and more than 200,000 customers are without power across North Carolina because of Florence, which came ashore as a Category 1 hurricane, according to state officials.
Rivers and waterways, swollen after Florence's historic deluge, rose dangerously across the Carolinas, closing roads, inundating communities, hindering rescue and fix efforts and preventing evacuees from returning home.
Sanderson Farms, a major poultry producer in the state, said it lost about 1.7 million chickens after flooding at more than 60 of the independent farms that supply its poultry processing plants. I-95 and portions of I-40 are closed.
The governor said 16 rivers statewide were at major flood stage and more than 1,100 roads were closed.
With his disaster response operation under scrutiny, President Donald Trump heads to the Carolinas on Wednesday to survey flood damage wrought by Hurricane Florence. The National Weather Service says more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain had fallen by Tuesday morning from the Elmira area to counties in southeastern NY.
So far, there have been 17 confirmed deaths in North Carolina due to the storm.
Dianna Wood and her husband, Lynn, survey their flooded property Tuesday in Linden, N.C., as the Little River continues to rise after Hurricane Floren.
"That rain has to go somewhere, it flows from the basin upstream down into the Cape Fear river", Amy Cannon, County Manager for Cumberland County, told McCammon. Power failures in the Southeast also were down, from a high of more than 910,000 to about 310,000, almost all in North Carolina.
The floodwaters are also causing environmental concerns in the region.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services projected the animal death toll after emergency workers and veterinarians spent days in the field assessing losses at farms following the storm. Nine other lagoons have been inundated, and 13 more have overtopped their banks.
"There's too much going on", he said.
Florence also did damage to the state's coal ash disposal sites, including pits, ponds and landfills all owned by Duke Energy.