At Least 31 Dead After Florence Barrels Through The Carolinas

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Depression Florence moving west across the United States on Sunday September 16

Reports that venomous snakes could turn up in Hurricane Florence flood waters proved true Sunday for a firefighter working on North Carolina's Topsail Island.

More than 300 people remained Monday at a shelter on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Raleigh, the state capital which escaped the brunt of the storm.

At least 17 deaths were reported in North and SC.

"It has already dumped 20 to 30 inches of rain on parts of the Carolinas with more to come", he said.

The cost of the damage is expected to reach $15 billion for North Carolina, $2 billion for SC and $1 billion elsewhere, said Chuck Watson, a disaster researcher at Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later fled her home near New Bern. The woman later told authorities someone had pushed the barricades to the side a little, making her think it was OK to go through.

Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday after blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds on Friday, Florence was still spinning slowly atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore.

"We know that we're going to need significant federal resources, and they have promised them across the board", Gov Cooper said on Monday of Fema and DHS.

The power and danger of slow-moving flood water isn't as easy to visually grasp as, say, a news reporter braving vicious winds to demonstrate the effect.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said: "All roads in the state right now are at risk of floods".

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A one-year-old boy is the youngest victim to have been killed by the storm after he fell out of his mother's hands near Charlotte, North Carolina.

A day earlier, Wilmington's entire population of 120,000 people was cut off by flooding.

For many, the water is not the only hazard, but also the loss of power.

More than 641,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in North and SC and surrounding states, down from a peak of almost 1 million.

Rescue teams searched overnight for a 1-year-old boy swept away outside Charlotte, North Carolina, after rushing water pushed his mother's auto off the road, the Union County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook.

"The agriculture industry, the largest industry in our state is hard-hit". About 708,000 customers were still without power in the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Even though rain has started to let up in the Fayetteville area, floodwaters continue to rise as the region drains. Power is still out for the majority of residents, and the ongoing flooding will make it hard for the power company to begin work to restore downed lines.

Interested in Hurricane Florence?

US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz told ABC 28 aircraft had been deployed as well as 35 "shallow water rescue teams".

North Carolina Community Foundation: The NCCF is a humanitarian organization based in North Carolina that partners with local charities that also support the community.

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