Deadly Florence Wreaks Havoc in Carolinas as Death Toll Rises

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The state's governor, Roy Cooper, said on Monday that the "epic storm" was still an immediate danger as rivers reach major flood levels.

Tornadoes continue to be an elevated risk in our area.

"The next half of the tree went, hit the roof and knocked the chimney down onto my first-floor den and that knocked a hole in the roof", Wilmington resident Alex Hall said.

As of today, 356 primary roads are closed in North Carolina, up from 108 on Sunday, said Secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, one of the worst affected areas, abandoned cars were left to float in the rising waters on Saturday as residents fled and tried to ride out the worst of the hurricane.

A day earlier, Hurricane Florence had covered the course with six inches of rushing water, he said. In his path lay almost 2,000 factory farm cesspools loaded with hundreds of millions of gallons of toxic fecal waste, wastewater treatment plants, factories and communities, many of which were in the flood plain.

A one-year-old boy is the youngest victim to have been killed by the storm after he fell out of his mother's hands near Charlotte, North Carolina.

North Carolina had deployed around 2,000 boats and 36 helicopters to help people stranded in floods, Michael Sprayberry, the state's director of emergency management, told ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday.

The most rain so far from Florence was 33.9 inches (86 cm) in Swansboro, North Carolina, a new record for a single hurricane in the state. The water receded Sunday, leaving hundreds of fallen trees and "pools of water everywhere".

As the remnants of Florence continues to dump inches of rain, still-rising floodwaters are prompting emergency situations across the Carolinas.

North Carolina observed four-metre floodwaters on Sunday, with reports it was steadily rising.

In many areas, the brief period of sun was wiped out by more rain but some evacuated residents were able to return to their homes to assess damage.

According to The Washington Post, the Marion County Sheriff's Office warned residents on Sunday: "We can not beg you enough to stay off the roads".

Florence, which came ashore as a hurricane on Thursday, is expected to weaken again on Monday before re-intensifying on Tuesday and Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

"We still have no water and power, so I'm happy to help if I can, there's nothing else to do", he said.

Among the other fatalities were two men in their 70s who died in Lenoir County - one had been connecting extension cords and another was blown by high winds when checking on his dogs.

They did not say what had been stolen but said charges "are pending".