44 dead as Florence-weary Carolinas face more flooding and rising rivers

Florence: Two patients dead after van swept away in floods

Thousands of people evacuated their homes, at least 37 people died, and millions lost power.

About 4,700 people across North Carolina have been rescued by boat or helicopter since the storm made landfall, twice as many as in Hurricane Matthew two years ago, while about 10,000 remain in shelters.

Sprayberry said the state's eastern counties are continuing to see major flooding, including certain locations along the Black, Lumber, Neuse and Cape Fear rivers.

In Conway, South Carolina, authorities said residents could see damage in homes that have not flooded before. Other deaths have been reported earlier in SC and Virginia. Early farm reports confirm pre-storm worries about losses to tobacco, cotton and corn crops.

The flooding from Florence has also caused 21 hog "lagoons", which store manure from pig farms, to overflow in North Carolina, possibly contaminating standing water, according to the state's Department of Environmental Quality. "Same levee. Same dams". While the rain has subsided, some rivers are still rising, and North and SC officials warn the flooding danger is far from over. Bridges are starting to close because of flooding, he said, and friends were struck in traffic for four hours trying to get through the town of 23,000 people.

The coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina, was still mostly cut off by floodwaters on Friday. A photograph posted by the state transportation agency showed flowing water and buckled asphalt on a highway that had been one of the few passable routes into the city, where officials have distributed food and water to residents.

Benetta White and David Lloyd slogged through waist-deep water to escape when Cape Fear River water came pouring into their yard late Thursday.

Women chained in police van drown in Hurricane Florence floods
High-water rescue teams arrived and were able to rescue the two deputies from the top of the van, according to the statement. That effort resumed Wednesday morning, and Thompson said a specialized crew was being flown in from Charleston to assist.

"We had to evacuate again, all over again, and got trapped in a bunch of water and nearly lost our lives", said White.

An economic research firm estimated that Hurricane Florence has caused around $44 billion in damage and lost output, which would make it one of the top 10 costliest US hurricanes.

McMaster has estimated damage to his state to equal about $1.2 billion, calling it the worst disaster in the state's modern history. McMaster asked congressional leaders to hurry federal aid. Farmer Craig West said the leaves are about as appealing and saleable as a bunch of bruised bananas, but they can't be harvested anyway because the fields are too soggy after the storm. The utility said it could not rule out the possibility that coal ash from a dump adjacent to the plant, which formerly burned coal, might be flowing into the nearby Cape Fear River.

North Carolina authorities said 5,500 hogs and almost 3.5 million chickens were killed by the flooding, which could have damaged up to 57 million kilograms of tobacco worth as much as $350 million.

Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week.

Something else could be a problem, though.

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.

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