Hurricane Florence: More days of flooding ahead for Carolinas and surrounding states

Hurricane Florence: More days of flooding ahead for Carolinas and surrounding states

A woman and her baby were killed when a tree fell on their house and other storm-related deaths were reported as Florence slammed into the states of North and SC, dousing the eastern United States with torrential rain, AFP reported.

With Wilmington cut off from the rest of North Carolina by still-rising floodwaters from Florence, officials plan to airlift food and water to the city of almost 120,000 people as rescuers elsewhere pull inland residents from homes threatened by swollen rivers.

"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life", Governor Roy Cooper said.

Storm Florence weakened yesterday as it swept through the USA states of North and SC but dozens of communities are devastated and "epic" amounts of rain could still fall, officials said.

The storm brought up to 40 inches of rain to some parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC, according to the National Weather Service.

But with radar showing parts of the storm over six Southeastern states and flood worries spreading into southern Virginia and West Virginia, North and SC were still in the bull's-eye. As her son fed the goats in a hotel parking lot, she said she might not be able to return home until the middle of next week.

CNN also reported a man and a woman died in South Carolina's Horry County due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The remnants of deadly Hurricane Florence have brought more misery to the waterlogged Carolinas, with persistent heavy rain and the growing threat from swollen rivers prompting officials to warn the worst was still no over.

Five people were arrested for breaking into a Dollar General Store, said the police department in Wilmington, which has imposed a nighttime curfew.

Some parts of North Carolina have already received about 100 centimeters of rain, while totals of about 50 centimeters have been reported across wider areas.

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Florence was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical depression on Sunday morning.

"This is done so we can access areas that have traditionally flooded in the past", McAndrew said.

Tens of thousands of houses have been damaged, but for many parts of the Carolinas, "the worst is yet to come" as river levels rise to historic levels, said Zach Taylor, a meteorologist with the US National Weather Service (NWS).

In Leland, a low-lying city north of Wilmington, homes and businesses were engulfed by water that rose up to 10 feet (3 meters) over Highway 17, submerging stop signs in what local people called unprecedented flooding. "For that reason we are still asking people to stay off the roads in the heavily impacted areas for their safety, and to allow first responders, power crews, DOT crews and others involved in recovery to get to those areas to make sure they are indeed safe". New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people had been rescued in the town of 30,000 residents without any serious injuries or deaths. Further inland, the same river, running through Fayetteville, a city of 200,000, was expected to reach major flood levels later on Monday, and would not crest until Tuesday.

"If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible", Mayor Mitch Colvin said at a news conference. "They have not even begun (to crest)".

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

As rivers swelled, state regulators and environmental groups monitored the threat from huge hog and poultry farms in low-lying, flood-prone areas. In past hurricanes, flooding at dozens of farms also left hundreds of thousands of dead hogs, chickens and other decomposing livestock bobbing in floodwaters.

"People fail to heed warnings and get out or they get into the flood waters trying to escape their home".

"As you can tell, they're not listening to me", he said.

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