North Carolina Governor Warns Residents to be Alert for Florence Flash Floods

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Depression Florence moving west across the United States on Sunday September 16

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the "epic storm" was still an immediate danger as rivers continue to flood.

The coastal city of Wilmington became an island amid heavy floods following the storm.

Even as some residents began returning to their homes, officials warned of a long road to recovery ahead.

"Not only are you going to see more impact across North Carolina ... but we're also anticipating you are about to see a lot of damage going through West Virginia, all the way up to OH as the system exits out", Brock Long of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Sunday on Fox News. This water will flow downstream to areas already impacted from flooding rains from Florence.

► Analytics firm CoreLogic says Florence could cost at least $170 billion in property loss.

The city's Cape Fear River is the biggest worry.

"The worst is yet to come", he added.

"Our roads are flooded, there is no access into Wilmington", New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White told a news conference.

"Normally, we wouldn't expect that to cause too many issues but, when you have saturated soils, it won't take much wind to cause some isolated issues as far as downed trees are concerned".

Police said that the five were arrested on Saturday, suspected of breaking into a local shop.

What's the latest on the storm?

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Florence was a tropical depression on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometres per hour as it headed through Virginia and towards New England.

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

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There were several tornado warnings across North Carolina on Monday morning.

State officials had warned in previous days that Global Positioning System was aiming people toward flooded routes and urged people to check for road closures before driving. "They are still is without power", said Braden Welsh, one of those behind the initiative. "So we are trying to get it dried out, so we can... get open and get everything squared away", said restaurant owner Raymond Karem.

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 storm, now a tropical depression, is expected to move toward the northeast before accelerating and moving eastward on Tuesday.

Rescue teams searched overnight for a one-year-old boy who was swept away outside Charlotte, North Carolina, after rushing water pushed his mother's auto off the road, the Union County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook. Thirty roads remained impassable, Dana Outlaw said, with 4,200 homes and more than 300 commercial buildings damaged, 6,000 people left without power and 1,200 in shelters. Her vehicle was swept off the road, and she was able to free Kaiden from his auto seat, but lost her grip on the child while trying to escape through the rushing water.

According to the Union County Sheriff's Office, a motorist driving on Landsford Road Monday morning saw a vehicle off the road half way submerged.

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