A 1-year-old boy ripped from his mother's arms by fierce floodwaters in North Carolina became one of Florence's latest victims Monday - as the devastating storm's death toll may now be as high as 20, officials and reports said.
Wilmington, on the banks of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina, was nearly completely cut off by land but emergency management teams managed to truck food and water overnight into the port city of 120,000 people.
When North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence, the state's price gouging law went into effect. North Carolina Electric Cooperatives said that it restored power to half of 326,000 customers."Damage is so widespread that it could take this army of restoration personnel several more days or even weeks to fully restore power,"spokeswoman Kristie Aldridge said".
- Two people died in a storm-related fire in Cumberland County, North Carolina.
The stations made arrangements before the storm to have fuel available to refill the generators, but flooding in the area has made it impossible to get gasoline to the tower.
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Nichols and Rebollar, both Texas natives, began rescuing hurricane-affected people with the help of a boat when Harvey hit their state past year.
A reporter traveling with Gov. Henry McMaster aboard a National Guard helicopter Monday saw homes, businesses and other structures already surrounded by water as river levels continue to rise.
Food, water, and gasoline are still in short supply for residents who remained.
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Florence aftermath: Rivers are rising in the Carolinas, cresting at record levels
Six people died in SC , including four in vehicle accidents and two from carbon monoxide from a portable generator. Major highways are covered and more than 700,000 homes have no power. "Flooding can also hide downed power lines".
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There are now 2,000 federal workers working on storm response, supporting state efforts, said Tom Fargione, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer. Hundreds of thousands of people still have no electricity, and many schools remain shuttered.
Cooper said about 2,600 people were rescued in North Carolina, along with 300 animals, and that the rescues were continuing. "With every inch of rain, our rivers rise and we'll see significant flooding on into next week.it could be of historic proportions".
"We've been going so hard and fast we don't have a number yet", he said.
"The ground is saturated, and even a small amount of rain can cause flash flooding", Cooper said.
Numerous roads across eastern North Carolina were blocked by fallen trees and flooding including parts of I-95, a major north-south artery.
Further inland, the same river, running through Fayetteville, a city of 200,000, was expected to reach major flood levels later on Monday, and would not crest until Tuesday.
Florence was headed through Virginia and toward New England and flash flood watches extended from Maryland through NY and southern New England.
"We got them out, but by the time we left, the water was so high that they would have drowned", DiPaola continued. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and SC in the bull's-eye.
Twenty-four of those were in North Carolina.
President Donald Trump said the aftermath of last year's hurricanes in Puerto Rico has been an "incredible, tough situation" but he added, "we fought, and we are winning that one big". Elsewhere in North Carolina, an 88-year-old man died after his vehicle was swept away.