Flood threat from Florence remains in Carolinas; storm moves nor

Flood threat from Florence remains in Carolinas; storm moves north

Rescue personnel evacuate residents as flooding continues in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rescue personnel evacuate residents as flooding continues in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(RNN) - President Donald Trump will travel to North Carolina on Wednesday to survey the impact of Hurricane Florence on the region.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Trump’s travel plans to the state, which bore the brunt of the powerful storm.

Now a post-tropical cyclone, Florence has left the Carolinas. But the danger from the storm's heavy rain and high winds has not ended, with further flooding expected across the region, which is still feeling the effects of Florence's rage.

Rivers in North Carolina, including the Northeast Cape Fear River, Trent River and Little River, reached record flood levels, and dams and levees in the state are under severe strain, according to the Weather Channel.

There have been at least two dam breaches so far in North Carolina, but they haven't caused any major issues, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The Fayetteville Police Department posted pictures showing the steadily raising waters around the city.

"You can clearly see the water levels rising in Cape Fear River as we compare photos from Sunday to Today," FPD said on Facebook. "Water levels continue to rise in the Cape Fear River and it is expected to crest sometime today, which will cause more flooding for the Fayetteville area."

In South Carolina, many rivers, including some that have already reached flood levels such as the Waccamaw River, are expected to reach or exceed flood levels in coming days.

With that increased flooding, the death count from Florence, which officials said stood at 34 Tuesday afternoon, is expected to rise.

On Tuesday night, WMBF reported that two mental health detainees drowned in floodwaters in Marion County, SC, as they were being transported by Horry County Sheriff's deputies. The Horry County Sheriff's Office said the transportation vehicle was involved in a "high-water incident" near the Little Pee Dee River.

"The two deputies attempted to extricate the persons being transported," the sheriff’s office said. "Despite persistent and ongoing efforts, floodwater rose rapidly and the deputies were unable to open the doors to reach the individuals inside the van."

The 120,000 Wilmington, NC, residents are still mostly cut off from the rest of the state by floodwaters. However, one road was briefly opened to let supply trucks into the city, according to the Associated Press.

Another opening occurred in Wrightsville, NC, when authorities announced the reopening of the area beach for residents, property owners and business owners, WECT reported.

Officials said they planned to hand out supplies to the stranded residents beginning Tuesday morning.

Crews have conducted about 700 rescues in the city and surrounding New Hanover County, and more than 60 percent of homes and businesses were without power Monday, the AP reported.

Emergency crews made at least 1,000 swift-water rescues in the state by Monday.

Meanwhile, more than 485,000 customers in North Carolina and more than 16,000 in South Carolina didn't have electricity as of Monday, according to CNN.

As the storm moved northeast into Virginia Monday, more than 10,000 households were left without power, WWBT reported. Remember, these are households - not total people. Many households have multiple people.

Tornadoes spawned during storm conditions in Virginia, causing the death of one man after the warehouse where he worked collapsed.

The death was the first reported from the storm not in North or South Carolina.

The body of a 1-year-old was found Monday morning in Union County, NC. On Sunday, floodwaters swept the car he was carrying off the road, and the baby out of his mother’s arms, WBTV reported.

Two children – one 3 months old in Dallas, NC, and the other 8 months old in Wilmington – were killed when trees fell on their respective homes. The 8-month-old’s mother was also killed.

Flooding has caused several other deaths, including that of a man who drowned attempting to cross a road in Marlboro County, SC, on Monday.

A man in Lexington County, SC, was killed when he lost control of his pickup truck and hit a tree Sunday morning and another man died when a pickup flipped into a drainage ditch in Georgetown County, NC.

Three more people died in Duplin County, NC, Saturday afternoon due to flash flooding, WECT reported.

Another man in Kershaw County, SC, died when his pickup truck went off the road and struck an overpass support beam, according to WIS.

Two 78-year-old men were killed in Lenoir County, NC. One was electrocuted while outside in the rain, and the other is believed to have been blown down while going outside to check on his dogs, CNN reported.

A 61-year-old woman and a 63-year-old man died in Horry County, SC, Friday night after using a generator inside their home, according to WMBF.

A woman died in Hampstead, NC, after suffering a medical emergency, WECT reported.

Almost 20,000 military personnel and federal workers have been deployed to help in Florence’s aftermath, President Donald Trump said.

The president issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina, the White House said Saturday. It will make federal money available to people in the counties of Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender.

More than 15,000 people were at shelters Monday morning, according to CNN.

Officials are warning drivers not to travel in or through the state. Sections of I-95 and I-40 are flooded, and anyone traveling south from Virginia is encouraged to bypass the state entirely, instead going west to Tennessee.

Price-gouging has been an issue, with more than 500 reports so far, according to CNN. The state’s attorney general, Josh Stein, said the reports related primarily to price hikes of essentials like water and gas, as well as price hikes for hotel rooms being sought by evacuees.

People who see price-gouging are advised to contact the state attorney general’s office.

Ten people in Wilmington have been charged with looting during Florence, according to WECT. Four of those defendants were involved in a Saturday incident at a Family Dollar store.

The amount of rainfall seen during Florence in the Carolinas is one of the most significant amounts on record, according to the National Weather Service. Preliminary reports indicate it will break the North Carolina state rainfall record for a tropical cyclone.

More than 30 inches were reported in Elizabethtown, NC, Swansboro, NC, and Gurganus, NC.

The flooding of coal ash dumps and hog farms in North Carolina has raised concerns about pollution, according to the AP.

A nuclear power plant south of Wilmington declared a state of emergency as floodwaters cut it off from personnel. It was under the lowest level of nuclear emergency, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told The News & Observer newspaper of Raleigh.

The remnants of Florence are moving into southern New England, leaving Maryland, northern Virginia and southern New York under flash flood watches, according to NWS. These states are expected to receive up to six inches of rain.

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