More flooding to DRENCH Carolina 'WORST is yet to COME'

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More than 30 inches (75cm) of rain has fallen across North and SC since Friday, with tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.

Still, there was some good news: Power outages in the Carolinas and Virginia were down to about 580,000 homes and businesses after reaching a high of about 910,000 as the hurricane plowed into the coast.

Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence slowly crawled over South and North Carolina, dumping heavy rains on already flood-swollen river basins that authorities warned could bring more death and destruction.

More than 20,000 people were in 157 shelters in North Carolina, with almost 6,000 in SC shelters, officials said. "Those rivers are going to start to crest later today and Tuesday and maybe longer".

In North Carolina, more than 900 people were rescued from rising flood waters and 15,000 remained in shelters, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said yesterday.

30-year-old Rhonda R. Hartley died early Sunday after driving a pickup truck into standing water near Gilbert, South Carolina, losing control and hitting a tree, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. People who evacuated were eager to return home but officials urged them to stay away.

County commission chairman Woody White said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city. "Don't go back until this storm passes and you get the official all clear", he said.

Hurricane Florence continues to rip through the Carolinas in the United States today, wreaking destruction and causing widespread flooding and infrastructural damage.

"The worst is yet to come", Mayor Mitch Colvin told a news conference on Saturday. Two power plants in North Carolina reported problems with coal ash dumps, but state environmental regulators said Sunday they had not yet heard about any potential contamination streaming from flooded hog farms.

"When the electricity went out we heard weird noises and crashing... and their chimney going down", said Paige Tootoo, pointing to a house across the street.

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In North Carolina City, a city of 120,000 people, all roads in and out of the city are underwater.

Gas stations were abandoned and fallen trees made many roads impassable.

In total, the emergency-management agencies said almost 700,000 customers were lacking power in North Carolina and more than 60,000 outages were reported in SC.

In Belville, just south of Leland, some shops had power restored on Sunday. About 14,000 people are in shelters, officials said.

"We will have to sort out the crop damage", he continued, adding: "I think that it's fair to say in terms of economic impact rebuilding that we are talking in the billions of dollars".

"We were stir-crazy from being inside so long", Moore said. Police were guarding the door of one store, AP said, which would only let 10 people in at a time.

He said the storm had killed at least five people, but there were fears that number could rise. Dams and bridges were in peril as rivers and creeks swelled.

By Sunday afternoon, Florence's winds had dropped to about 55 km/h, the National Hurricane Center said, with some weakening forecast over the next 24 hours before intensifying once again as an extratropical low-pressure centre.

Mr Trump, who plans to visit the region this week, tweeted his "deepest sympathies and warmth" to the families and friends of those who died.

- Two people who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Horry County, South Carolina.