Florence death toll rises to 42 as residents return to flooded homes

Florence death toll rises to 42 as residents return to flooded homes

Florence death toll rises to 42 as residents return to flooded homes

The storm formerly known as Florence - which hit North Carolina as a Hurricane last Friday and then proceeded to drop historic rainfall over much of the state - has brought catastrophic and deadly flooding to inland cities and coastal communities alike.

The storm has resulted in the deaths of at least 32 people, 26 in North Carolina, according to Gov. Roy Cooper.

The state public safety department said in a Twitter message Thursday evening that the body of an 81-year-old man was found in a pickup truck submerged in water in Dillon County.

The tragic incident occurred near the Little Pee Dee River, which continues to rise as water from upriver North Carolina makes its way into South Carolina's waterways.

"To the approximately 10,000 people staying in our shelters and the countless more who are staying with friends and families or in hotels, I know it was hard to leave home and it's even harder to wait", Cooper said.

Cooper's statement said that in the past week, first responders and emergency teams have conducted almost 5,000 rescues in storm-ravaged areas.

In North Carolina, a familiar story was unfolding as many places that flooded in Hurricane Matthew in 2016 were once again inundated.

Hurricane Florence is still wearing out the Carolinas, where residents have endured an agonising week of violent winds, torrential rain, widespread flooding, power outages and death.

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President Donald Trump visited the flood-ravaged Carolinas on Wednesday, receiving briefings on the damage done from Hurricane Florence and visiting with residents.

Kevin Tovornik was scrambling to prepare for flooding in Conway, South Carolina.

"We have 12,000 residents who could be in harm's way if the river continues to rise", he said.

The South Carolina governor estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion. McMaster asked Congressional leaders to hurry federal aid. North and SC met the hurricane in readiness, but to avoid casualties among the population have failed. Six days later, flooding remains a problem, with some roads still impassable and some rivers still near cresting. Panthers fans will have the opportunity to support Hurricane Florence relief efforts by making cash donations at collection points at Bank of America Stadium during Sunday's home game.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said it was monitoring four areas in the Atlantic for signs of a new tropical weather threat. One was off the coast of the Carolinas with a chance of drifting toward land.

More than three dozen flood gauges in North and SC showed flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

Duke also raised an emergency alert Thursday after floodwaters from the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, N.C., spilled over a dike, threatening a retired coal-fired plant now used as a generating station run with natural gas, reports the AP.

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