Fast-moving Michael was leaving North Carolina behind with rivers rising and more than 530,000 households in the dark.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s office said the power outages were concentrated in central North Carolina’s Piedmont region, as trees and power lines toppled under the pressure of winds of up to 60 mph (97 kph).
Heavy rains dumping up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) in some areas were making flooding a serious threat.
Flash flooding was snarling the state’s two largest cities, Charlotte and Raleigh, as well as the university town of Chapel Hill. Dozens of swift water rescues and evacuations were needed in the Piedmont region as well as the state’s mountains and foothills.