The number of fatalities in Florence amounts to 11, since officials warn about the & # 039; epic & # 039; rain falls

Officials have warned that the devastation from Florence is far from over.

On Saturday, authorities warned residents displaced by a killer hurricane that their devastation was far from over, as Florence threw "epic amounts of rain" across the southeastern United States, causing catastrophic floods.

The governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, told reporters that five deaths have been officially confirmed in his state, and several more are under investigation.

The figure included a woman and her baby dead when a tree fell in her house, while a sixth death occurred in South Carolina.

The military provides assistance to devastated floods in South Carolina.

AAP

Florence made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane, but has since degraded to a tropical storm, although it continued to wreak havoc on the east coast, toppling trees and power lines and forcing 20,000 people to flee to shelters.

On Saturday, some residents tried to return home, driving on flooded roads armed with chainsaws to clear the fallen pine trees that covered the road.

Cooper warned against such behavior as roads become increasingly dangerous.

"All roads in the state at this time are at risk of flooding," he said. "As the rivers continue to rise and the rain continues to fall, the floods will spread, and more and more counties in the interior are issuing mandatory evacuations to get people safely out quickly."

He previously said that the storm system "is discharging epic amounts of rain: in some places, measured in feet, not inches."

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that some areas already received two feet of rain and could wait up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over the east of North Carolina.

A yacht sits on the bank of the Neuse River between buildings after Hurricane Florence passed through the area.

A yacht sits on the bank of the Neuse River between buildings after Hurricane Florence passed through the area.

AAP

In New Bern, a city facing the river off the coast of North Carolina that saw storms of up to 10 feet (three meters), the authorities rescued the stranded residents and took care of the damage.

"At this time we have rescued more than 400 people, we still have about 100 who want to be rescued and we have about 1,200 in the shelters," Mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN.

"We have 4,200 damaged homes," he said, urging residents not to walk the streets because of the dangers posed by downed power lines.

"The main thing at this moment is to pump this water" from the city, he said. "We can pump 42,000 gallons (159,000 liters) per minute once the water recedes enough."

The doors of many houses suffered so much damage by the wind that they seemed to have been kicked, while the city's beloved fiberglass bear statues, which are sponsored by local businesses, were floating in the streets.

In good news, authorities said that 16 savage ponies from the island of Ocracoke, hit by a hurricane, located off the coast of North Carolina, were safe.

Deadly road

The governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, announced Saturday the death of a 61-year-old woman who died when her car hit a fallen tree on a highway.

In North Carolina, the mother and her baby were killed in New Hanover County when a tree fell in their home, Cooper said Friday night.

Firefighters said the area had not been in the area under evacuation orders.

Local authorities reported a death in Pender County when fallen trees prevented emergency units from reaching a woman with a medical condition. The local press said he suffered a heart attack.

The American media later said that a man in Lenoir County died after strong winds knocked him down while trying to control his dogs.

More than 800,000 customers in North Carolina had no electricity and 21,000 people were housed in 157 shelters throughout the state.

Engelhard, North Carolina

North Carolina has been declared a disaster area, and floods are expected to worsen in some areas. (AAP)