Millions face Florence floods after 'epic' rainfall in Carolinas

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The storm's death toll climbed to 14 when a man drowned after a pickup truck flipped into a drainage ditch along a flooded road in SC.

As rains inundate North Carolina due to Tropical Storm Florence, the state Department of Transportation is warning residents about rapidly deteriorating road conditions due to downed trees and flooding.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned against such behavior as roads became increasingly risky. "Those rivers are going to start to crest later today and Tuesday and maybe longer".

"If the river rises to the level they say it's going to, then this warehouse is going to be under water".

"The storm has never been more unsafe than it is now", North Carolina's Republican Gov. Roy Cooper said during a press conference on Sunday.

Weather forecasters have repeatedly warned of flash flooding in the Carolinas, although Florence has been downgraded into a tropical depression.

More than 20,000 people were in 157 shelters in North Carolina, with almost 6,000 in SC shelters, officials said. As the storm "begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear".

Other storms were not so considerate and in this area they know there is always the chance of having to accommodate a much more hard visitor. The people who were hit by the fury of Florence are nowhere near out danger.

Officials urged those who had evacuated to stay away.

Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of almost 120,000 people.

"We'll get through this".

Anne Francis Coronado came back on Sunday to inspect the damage with her husband.

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A woman and her baby were among the storm's first casualties when a tree fell on their house.

"We tell them to remain calm, not to panic, we will rescue them", Roberts said.

Rescue team member Sgt. Nick Muhar, from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion, evacuates a young child as the rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence threatens his home in New Bern, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

"We lost all of our cars last night", Heath told her viewers, "because the water was above the headlights, even on our SUVs". "It's just bad - winds are still really high". "We're just having a good old time out here, enjoying the weather".

Besides federal and state emergency crews, rescuers were being helped by volunteers from the "Cajun Navy" - civilians equipped with light boats, canoes and air mattresses - who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues.

Gas stations were abandoned, with many pumps keeled over, and fallen trees cluttered many roads, making them impassable.

But with radar showing parts of the storm over six Southeastern states and flood worries spreading into southern Virginia and West Virginia, North and SC were still in the bull's-eye.

At least 17 people have been killed by the storm.

The Carolinas' swollen rivers are beginning to swamp coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms.

On Sunday, Wilmington Police said it had received more than 800 emergency calls in a 30-hour period.

By Saturday morning, top sustained winds had weakened to 50 mph as it moved farther inland at 2 mph about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

She isn't the only federal official set to visit North Carolina this week - President Donald Trump is also scheduled to make a visit, as is FEMA Administrator Brock Long.

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