Deadly Florence Wreaks Havoc in Carolinas as Death Toll Rises

Two U.S. Navy warships carrying helicopters and rescue equipment are in position off the East Coast to help with the response to hurricane-turned Tropical Depression Florence

At least 15 people have died since Florence made landfall Friday as a Category 1 hurricane near Wrightsville Beach, 10 in North Carolina and five in SC.

As Tropical Depression Florence continues its assault on the Carolinas, the death toll continues to rise along with the devastating surge level.

The storm killed at least 11 people in North Carolina, including a mother and child hit by a falling tree, state officials said.

And if you think you can pick your way through back roads to get to the coast, hundreds of those are closed due to flooding as well.

The lifeless body of Kaiden Lee-Welch was recovered by rescue workers Monday morning, one day after the tot and his mother were caught in heavy flooding while driving along a closed road to a relative's home, the Union County North Carolina Sheriff's Office said.

Tropical Depression Florence continues to drown the Carolinas as it moves inland through Virginia. "The state of North Carolina is going to be with New Bern and Craven County for the long haul", said Cooper. On Monday, a river that flows alongside the town was swollen, and local officials say they were trying to evacuate all residents.

Officials in the Carolinas are anxious about what deaths are still to come amid the swelling rivers and flooding from Florence's crawl across both states.

"This is an epic storm that is still continuing", Cooper told a news conference. Southbound travelers from Virginia should detour to the western part of North Carolina, then go south and east to link up with I-95 South again, officials said.

More than a dozen rivers across North Carolina were at major flood stage on Monday or threatening to rise to critical levels. In all, about 420,000 homes and businesses in three states were in the dark.

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Power companies are working to restore power to the almost half a million homes and businesses in both states that are still without electricity.

The dead included a one-year-old boy who was swept away after his mother drove into floodwaters and lost grip on him as they tried to escape their auto.

A nuclear power plant south of Wilmington has also declared a state of emergency as floodwaters have cut it off from personnel.

Roughly 14,000 people are also still in emergency shelters.

"The floodwaters were rising so I figured I better get out of there", he said.

A cat clings to the side of a trailer amidst flood waters before it was saved as the Northeast Cape Fear River breaks its banks in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Burgaw, North Carolina on September 17, 2018. But the waters were deep, and Underwood said the woman lost her grip and her son was swept away.

McMaster was touring portions of Chesterfield County in a National Guard helicopter on Monday when he spotted two people lying down on a vehicle almost completely submerged in rushing flood waters.

The flooding of coal ash dumps and hog farms in North Carolina has raised concerns about pollution, according to the Associated Press.

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