Florence death toll rises to 32 as floodwaters linger in North Carolina

Image Credit Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

The storm formerly known as Florence - which hit North Carolina as a Hurricane last Friday and then proceeded to drop historic rainfall over much of the state - has brought catastrophic and deadly flooding to inland cities and coastal communities alike.

With 1,500 roads closed across North Carolina, fire and rescue crews were waiting to go into many areas to assist with structural damage after Florence dumped up to 36 inches (91 cm) of rain on the state since Thursday. One person was killed when Florence spawned at least 16 tornadoes on Monday in Virginia, where dozens of buildings were destroyed, the National Weather Service reported.

"It is ridiculous that we don't have enough fuel supplies back in this area", Stephanie Schauer, 39, a contractor, said as she waited her turn at the gas pump.

North Carolina officials released the list of deaths and names on September 18, bringing the death toll to 25 in the state.

Wilmington still remains virtually isolated from the remainder of the state due to flooding that has engulfed entire sections of Interstate 40, Highway 17 and Highway 74/76.

More than 15,000 people are at shelters in North Carolina, according to CNN.

But the enormous rainfall from Hurricane Florence and its aftermath left clinics closed and hospitals isolated in flood-ravaged North Carolina.

Flash floods, landslide warnings and "prolonged significant river flooding" throughout the region will continue for the next few days, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

Some Carolinians were relieved that the storm was pushing out, despite the continued threat of flooding from rivers.

Wilmington is still virtually cut off from the rest of the state, but officials say they'll open routes as soon as flooding recedes and downed trees and powerlines are cleared away. "That will be its legacy", Kottlowski said.

"The worst of the rain is over [in the Carolinas], but there will still be some lingering showers".

The death toll rose Monday when search and rescue teams in North Carolina discovered the body of 1-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch, who "was swept away in rushing waters from Richardson Creek", according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.

"Searchers have recovered the body of one-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch". Officials warned residents to avoid driving around barricades.

Florence, which has been downgraded to a tropical depression from a hurricane, was headed through Virginia toward New England.

As it moves north, Florence continues to dump rain on North and SC in already-flooded areas.

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