Killer storm far from over, United States officials warn as 'epic' rain falls

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As a result of hurricane Florence, which was later weakened to the level of a tropical storm in the U.S. States of North and SC killed at least 11 people, reports the online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference to the Correspondent.

North Carolina officials have reported at least seven storm-related fatalities with unconfirmed reports of a further three deaths.

By Sunday night, Florence's winds had dropped to about 30 miles per hour (45 kph), the National Hurricane Center said, with some weakening forecast over the next 24 hours before intensifying once again as an extratropical low-pressure center.The center of the storm was about 45 miles (70 km) north-northeast of Greenville and moving north at 10 mph (17 kph), the hurricane center said.

More than 800,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state.

More than 2 feet of rain had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on, with forecasters saying there could be an additional 1½ feet before Sunday is out. The storm, which is headed towards SC, is forecast to drop heavy rain for days, and officials warned Saturday that the flooding was only just starting. It was moving north at 13 miles per hour, whipping up 30-mph winds. Numerous roads were closed, and authorities warned of potential landslides, as well the possibility of flood waters imperiling dams and bridges as rivers and creeks swelled. Hundreds of water rescues have been carried out by local authorities, the Cajun Navy volunteers and the U.S. Coast Guard since Friday morning.

South Carolina's governor urged anyone in a flood-prone area to evacuate. Many rivers "are still rising, and are not expected to crest until later today or tomorrow". The Little River, the Cape Fear, the Lumber, the Neuse, the Waccamaw and the Pee Dee were all projected to overrun their banks, possibly flooding cities and towns.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm will travel through upstate SC, then turn north toward the Ohio Valley.

Lumberton was still recovering from Hurricane Matthew when Florence swept through.

Up to a metre of rain is expected along coastal areas of the Carolinas and up to 250 millimetres in southwestern Virginia, it said.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm.

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About 488,551 customers in North Carolina and 16,385 in SC don't have electricity.

In New Bern, along the coast, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people Saturday.

Two people in Wilmington, NC, are among the dead after a mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house, WECT reported.

North Carolina and SC each had modest gains in flood insurance policies, but coverage gaps remain.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said it's not too late to go to an emergency shelter.

Officials in SC said a 61-year-old woman died when her vehicle struck a tree that had fallen across a highway near the town of Union.

As it moves near OH and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low.

U.S. media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs. "It's just better for us to stay at home", she said.

The storm is expected to move northeastward Monday and across the southern part of New England on Tuesday.

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