Recently widowed, Batten said she had spent Sunday night praying at a neighbor's house for deliverance.
"You do feel sort of isolated, you feel deserted," Batten, 74, said. "I've lived here 56 years and never seen this before. I just hope I have the strength to get through this. I have the faith. I hope I have the strength."
Over in Lumberton and in the areas around the city, the Coast Guard was working nonstop to get people in low-lying, flooded areas to higher ground after the Lumber River overflowed its banks.
"In Lumberton, we watched the town start to flood out," said Jason Murphy, a Coast Guard machinery technician who got his feet wet — literally, at times — rescuing stranded residents after hurricanes Irma and Katrina. "Everywhere we go it'll be hit or miss. There'll be spots where it's high and dry and then that."
By that, Murphy meant a nearby fire station where a dozen people had sought shelter at their height of the storm — and which was now being evacuated because it was surrounded by a four-foot-deep moat of water.
Murphy said they are operating in an area where the distances are far and the roads are unfamiliar and often flooded out. He said they are trying as quickly as possible to respond to rescue calls — and a lot of it is white-knuckle driving.
"It's incredibly frustrating, it's incredibly stressful," he said. "We'll have convoys of five, six, seven vehicles. I got to make sure I'm going the right way and I can't see where I'm going. It's just frustrating, stressful and a lot of fingers crossed."
Motorists trying to get out of Wilmington faced an obstacle course of fallen trees, crumpled asphalt and washed-out roads that often left them no option but to turn back.
Many gas stations were shuttered because supply trucks were unable to get into town. So were many food stores. And thousands were living without power.
Statewide, 342,884 customers were experiencing electricity outages at 11 p.m. ET Monday, officials said.
In nearby Pender County, 150 people were rescued after the storm, said Tommy Batson, the county's assistant director of emergency management. People were plucked from cars, from rooftops, from trees, from homes submerged in 10 feet of water, he said.
And the flooding is not likely to recede for at least a week.
"If you're on high ground and not in harm's way, please stay put," Batson said. "The river levels are beyond anyone who's alive here has seen."