As the death toll from Florence rises to at least 14 and hundreds of people are removed from flooded homes, North Carolina prepares for what could be the next stage of a disaster that is still unfolding: catastrophic river floods and generalized.
After flying to the ground like a hurricane with 90 mph winds, Florence practically parked for much of the weekend over the Carolinas, as it drew hot water from the ocean and threw it to shore. Officials have now degraded the storm to a tropical depression.
Storm surges, flash floods and winds widely dispersed the destruction along the entire east coast and the Marines, the Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers are using helicopters, boats and heavy vehicles throughout the weekend to perform rescues.
The number of fatalities from the tropical depression turned into a hurricane rose to 14 on Saturday night, with 10 deaths in North Carolina and three deaths in South Carolina, according to media and media reports.
Among the dead is a couple in South Carolina who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after using a generator inside their home during the storm.
A member of the US Coast Guard UU Walk down Mill Creek Road checking houses after Tropical Depression Florence hit Newport North Carolina
Members of the urban search and rescue team of Task Force 1 of Nebraska help load an elderly resident on a bus while evacuating an assisted living facility to a church as a precaution against possible flooding on Saturday
A house was damaged after a large tree fell on it on Sunday in Wilmington, North Carolina. So far, 14 deaths have been reported
A sailboat is pushed against a house and a collapsed garage on Saturday, September 15 after the strong wind and rain of Florence
Deaths in North Carolina also include three who died "due to flash floods and fast water on the roads," the Duplin County Sheriff's Office reported.
Horry County deputy chief of staff, Tamara Willard, said Mark Carter King, 63, and Debra Collins Rion, 61, died when they inhaled carbon monoxide.
Their bodies were found in a house in Loris on Saturday afternoon, but they probably died the day before when the heavy rains and winds of the former Tropical Depression converted to Hurricane Florence were moving toward the coast.
FEMA administrator Brock Long said: & # 39; We will get over it. It's going to be ugly, but we'll get over it.
Florence weakened in the tropical depression on Sunday morning, but flash floods and major river floods are expected to continue in significant portions of the Carolinas.
Rivers are swelling to record levels, meteorologists now warn, and thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate for fear that the coming days will bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina's history.
Flow meters throughout the region showed steadily rising water levels, with projections calling for rivers to reach record levels on Sunday and Monday: Little River, Cape Fear, Lumber, Neuse, Waccamaw and Pee Dee. burst their banks, possibly flooding nearby communities.
Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 kilometers off the coast of North Carolina. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, with a population of 200,000 inhabitants.
A Corvette is damaged after a large tree fell on it on Sunday in Wilmington, North Carolina
Maggie Belgie of The Cajun Navy takes a boy evacuating a community of flooded trailers during Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina on Saturday
A fallen tree uprooted by Hurricane Florence is next to homes in New Bern, North Carolina
Robert Dolman passes in front of a Cadillac that has been crushed by a tree on Sunday in North Carolina
The next stage of the disaster comes with widespread river floods
US Marine Corp helps evacuate the local population in Jacksonville, North Carolina, on Saturday
As of Saturday, about 676,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in South Carolina.
On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for parts of the state that will facilitate the reconstruction process for residents in some counties.
Trump, who plans a visit to the region next week, tweeted his "deepest sympathies and warmth" to the families and friends of those who lost their lives.
On Saturday afternoon, the White House posted a photo of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence receiving a telephone report on disaster response efforts.
John Rose owns a furniture business with stores less than a mile from the river. Rain-soaked furniture workers helped him quickly empty more than 1,000 mattresses from a warehouse in a low-rise mall.
"It's the first time we have to move something like this," Rose said. "If the river rises to the level they say it will reach, then this store will be under water."
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence received an emergency preparedness update on Hurricane Florence in the White House treaty room on Saturday
The next stage of the disaster comes with widespread river floods, which could make history in North Carolina
An updated map of Sunday morning shows the state of Florence
Certain areas of North Carolina are experiencing unprecedented major floods
A map on Sunday morning shows three to five inches of rain in parts of North and South Carolina
On US Route 401, nearby, the rain rose in ditches and around unharvested tobacco crops along the highway. The ponds had begun to overflow, and the streams that passed under the road were shaking with murky and brown waters.
Further, along the Cape Fear River, the grass and trees bordering the banks were partially submerged, still well below a road bridge that crossed it.
"It's hard to believe that it will get so high," says Elizabeth Machado, who arrived at the bridge to control the river.
Meanwhile, Fayetteville city officials got help from the Nebraska Task Force One search and rescue team to evacuate 140 residents of an assisted living facility in Fayetteville to a safer place in a church.
More than two feet of rain has already fallen in some places, and forecasters say there could be an additional 1.5 meters before the end of Sunday.
"I can not exaggerate: the flood waters are rising, and if you are not taking care of them, you are risking your life," said Governor Roy Cooper.
A truck drives on a flooded road past a country house that is surrounded by flooded fields of Tropical Storm Florence in Hyde County, North Carolina, on Saturday
Resident Joseph Eudi observes the remains of the floods and damage caused by Hurricane Florence at a house on East Front Street in New Bern, North Carolina, on Saturday
The rescue personnel use a small means of transport, a victim of the floods and their animals to the mainland due to heavy rains from Florence in North Carolina.
Officials were warning residents not only to stay away from roads, but also to avoid using GPS systems.
"As conditions change, GPS navigation systems do not keep pace with road closures and are directing people to roads that are confirmed to be closed and / or flooded," the state Department of Transportation said. Twitter
Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday and crept westward at 8 mph. At 5 a. M., The storm centered about 20 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. Its winds dropped to 35 mph.
In Goldsboro, North Carolina, home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, roads that are frequently flooded were already closed on Saturday due to water precipitation.
Dozens of electric repair trucks concentrated to respond to the damage expected to hit central North Carolina when rainwater accumulates in rivers heading for the coast. Hundreds of thousands of interruptions have been reported.
A stream that flows into the Neuse ran down a road near the house of Phil Eubanks on Saturday. Another stream receded into its basement on Friday, but based on past experience, Eubanks and his wife think that the worst has already happened to them.
"I did not sleep last night, I was climbing those steps from the basement," said her nervous wife, Ellen. "It was known." He fell in. "I think we're fine.
Coast Guard members help a motorist stranded in the flood waters caused by Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, North Carolina, on Sunday
Roger Hedgepeth is assisted along with his dog Bodie by members of the US Coast Guard. UU On Sunday
Hedgepeth wears a life jacket and holds his dog Bodie as he is moved to higher ground on Sunday
On Saturday night, Duke Energy said heavy rains caused the collapse of a slope in a coal ash dump at a closed power plant just outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said that about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash were displaced at the Sutton plant and that contaminated rainwater is likely to flow into the plant's cooling pond.
Sutton was suspended in 2013 and the company has been excavating ashes to move them to landfills with safer lines. The ash that remains when burning coal contains toxic heavy metals, including lead and arsenic.
In New Bern, along the coast, houses were completely surrounded by water, and rescue teams used inflatable boats to reach people on Saturday.
Kevin Knox and his family were rescued by boat from their house of flooded bricks with the help of the army sergeant. Johan Mackie, whose team used a telephone application to locate people in danger.
Awesome. They did great, "said Knox, who was stranded with seven others.
New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people were rescued safely in the city of 30,000 residents. She described the damage to thousands of buildings as "heartbreaking."
Ernestine Crumpler, 80, receives help from members of the urban search and rescue team of Task Force 1 in Nebraska as they evacuate an assisted living facility to a church as a precaution against possible floods that the city could see
Resident Alice Tolson walks on the rubble of the storm that fell from the Neuse River at her home on East Front Street in New Bern
Residents of an assisted living facility sit on a bus while being evacuated on Saturday in North Carolina
A 40-foot yacht is in the yard of a house damaged by the storm on East Front Street in New Bern, North Carolina on Saturday
The ship was filled with storm surges and debris from Hurricane Florence
The spirits were high, however, at Trent Park Elementary School in New Bern, where Cathy Yolanda Wright, 44, took refuge after being rescued from her house flooded Saturday. Wright, who sings in the choir at Mount Baptist Missionary Baptist, led the residents in the shelter in an energetic chant.
The people applauded and shouted: "Amen!" and & # 39; Thank you, Lord & # 39;
Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find the tents that wallowed in their backyard near the porch steps.
Coast Guard helicopters took off across the street to rescue homeless people from the rooftops and sink cars.
The Marines rescued some 20 civilians from the floods near Camp Lejeune, using Humvees and amphibious assault vehicles, the base reported.
The dead included a mother and baby killed by a fallen tree in Wilmington, North Carolina. South Carolina recorded its first death in the storm, and officials said a 61-year-old woman was killed when her car hit a tree that fell across a road.
Three died in an inner county, Duplin, because of water on the roads and flash floods, authorities said. A husband and wife were killed in a house fire related to the storm, authorities said, and an 81-year-old man died after falling as he packed to evacuate.
A closed sign hangs from the front door of the Blue Flour bakery on Main St. in Columbia, S.C. while the remains of hurricane Florence move slowly across the east coast