Hurricane Florence Victims (2018)

Florence death toll rises to 25 as flooding continues

Florence, which was downgraded from a hurricane soon after it made landfall on the United States east coast, has killed eight people in North Carolina and three in SC.

Gov. Roy Cooper accompanied the Coast Guard on a flyover of flooded areas in North Carolina and saw boats washed up in town and significant debris.

With the rain and winds headed north, some residents in North and SC started to return to their homes as the sun peeked through the clouds briefly for the first time in days. Authorities are telling people in the area to still be alert for the possibility of river flooding.

Disaster assistance teams from the Tri-State area and across the country are pitching in to help.

At least 18 people were killed in the storm.

In Virginia, near state capital Richmond, emergency services said one man died after a building collapsed during severe weather, though it was not clear if that death was directly linked to Florence.

Across North Carolina, 26,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters after escaping their homes in advance of the flood waters.

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

Woody White, the New Hanover county commission chair, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city.

As the the storm passed over, April McCall and her family, who have lived in Lumberton for over thirty years, opened their home for inside look at what it's like to endure constant flooding when you don't have the means to fix what's lost.

A city-wide curfew has been extended after five people were arrested on suspicion of looting from a store on Saturday.

What's the latest on the storm?

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Florence has now weakened to a tropical depression with winds of 30mph (45km/h), according to the National Hurricane Centre.

Some parts of the Carolinas have seen up to 40in (100cm) of rain since Thursday.

Florence death toll rises to 25 as flooding continues
Hurricane Florence Victims (2018)

The Cape Fear River at Chinquapin was up to 7.38 metres on Sunday morning, 22cm into a new record, and again, a dramatic 3.42m above flood level.

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About 509,000 homes and businesses were without electricity on Monday in North and SC and surrounding states.

"This storm has never been more risky than it is right now", warned North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

US President Donald Trump - who may visit North Carolina in the coming days - has declared a disaster in several North Carolina counties, freeing up federal funding for recovery efforts.

New Bern, North Carolina, a town of 30,000 located at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers, was one of the hardest-hit spots when Florence first came ashore and City Manager Mark Stephens said it was one of the worst storms in its 308-year history.

It's not known how long the dogs were trapped inside or if the owners knew they were left.

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

"There's too much going on", he told a news conference.

What do we know of the victims?

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The mother managed to free Kaiden from his vehicle seat and escape the auto, but her child was quickly swept away in the deluge. The woman had driven around barricades to reach a closed road, the sheriff's office in Union County, near North Carolina's border with SC, said on Facebook.

As she tried to leave the auto, the boy slipped from her hands and was carried away by the water.

Four road deaths in SC have been blamed on the storm, and two people died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator inside their home.

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