North Carolina governor pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

Thousands of fire ants are forming

Thousands of fire ants are forming"rafts in Florence's floodwaters. Shutterstock Gadi Schwartz Twitter

At least 32 people are dead, including several young children, as a result of the storm, which brought unprecedented rainfall and flooding to North and SC.

Michelle Haddock reacted while removing possessions from her flooded home on Monday.

"At this time, things are moving as well as can be in the city, " he said.

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.

More than 347,000 customers, mostly in the Carolinas, were without power on Tuesday morning, according to power companies, down from a peak of almost 1 million outages.

More than 18 million litres of partially treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, and the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents.

In South Carolina, two women died after a van was overtaken by rising flood waters near the Little Pee Dee River. Downed trees and power lines still blocked many roads into the city.

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit North Carolina on Wednesday.

Preliminary statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed Florence had the fourth-highest rainfall total of any hurricane to hit the USA mainland since 1950, with 35.94 inches (91.2 centimeters) at Elizabethtown, North Carolina.

Amid the devastation left behind by Hurricane Florence, former National Basketball Association superstar Michael Jordan promised a $2 million donation to help those impacted by the storm. In Wilmington, dozens of cars lined up for fuel at a Kangaroo Express service station. Forecasters said it was expected to continue toward the Northeast, which is in for as much as 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain, before the system moves offshore again.

US Coast Guard rescue swimmer Samuel Knoeppel (center) and Randy Haba (bottom right) approached Willie Schubert on a stranded van in Pollocksville, N.C.

In a bright spot, the Lumber River appeared to be falling in hard-hit Lumberton, about 110 kilometres inland. Cooper said more counties are likely to be added in coming days.

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