Small North Carolina town latest to feel Florence’s fury

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North Carolina may not be out of the woods just yet as the governor urges residents not to return to their homes.

An area of 60,000 people, on the Atlantic coast between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, is one of several areas in the Carolinas waiting anxiously for rivers to crest, a week after Florence dumped three feet of rain on the region.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion in a letter that says the flooding will be the worst disaster in the state's modern history.

Florence is blamed for at least 42 deaths in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Flooding, in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, is seen in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 19, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media on September 21, 2018.

The city of Georgetown on Friday was handing out 15,000 sandbags as the county developed plans to evacuate residents. The National Weather Service said the river could reach record flood levels late Saturday or early Sunday. "Today is the day that you need to start preparation for those evacuations".

Kevin Tovornik was scrambling to prepare for flooding in Conway, South Carolina.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he knows the damage in his state will add up to billions of dollars, but said with the effects on the storm ongoing, there was no way to make a more accurate estimate.

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Chris Ross has been staying at a shelter since he fled his Fayetteville home about a week ago when the National Guard pulled people out of his neighborhood.

Rescuers wearing night-vision goggles used helicopters, boats and big-wheeled military vehicles overnight to evacuate about 100 people from a southeastern North Carolina county where high water breached a levee and flooded a town. Parts of the main north-south route on the East coast, Interstate 95, and the main road to Wilmington, Interstate 40, remain flooded and will likely be closed at least until almost the end of September, North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said.

About 56,000 homes and business remain without power as of Friday afternoon.

Duke Energy Corp said on Friday that breaches in a cooling lake dam forced it to shut down its natural gas-fired L.V. Sutton plant in North Carolina.

Duke also said it can not rule out the possibility that coal ash from another plant is flowing into nearby waters.

Coal ash can contaminate water and harm fish and wildlife.

Sampling waterways in eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew showed a temporary increase in concentrations of some bacteria and pollutants in spots, according to a 2017 report from the state's Department of Environmental Quality. North Carolina is one of the leading hog-producing states in the country.

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