1.7 million chickens drown as North Carolina rivers swollen by Florence

Aerial view of flooding in Conway South Carolina

Floodwaters inundate homes after Florence struck the Carolinas Monday Sept. 17 2018 in Conway S.C

"This is an epic storm that is still continuing", Cooper told a news conference.

The storm has set rainfall records in several locations in North Carolina, including Swansboro, with a whopping 34 inches, Hoffman Forest with 29.48 inches and Sunny Point with 27.44 inches.

"This is going to have a huge disruption on people's lives - not for 10 days, but for years", Jordan told the Charlotte Observer, adding that he hopes his donation will spur people to get involved.

Hornets and National Basketball Association merchandising partner Fanatics have also designed a special T-shirt featuring the Hornets logo in the middle of the states of North and SC surrounded by the words "Carolina Strong".

Although Hurricane Florence's immediate impact on the Carolinas wasn't as bad as some people expected, the rains that have been falling on the East coast for the last few days have brought flooding that seems decidedly Biblical.

Property damage from the storm is expected to range from $17 billion to $22 billion, the risk management firm Moody's Analytics said. A few hours later, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm. Further flooding could push up that figure. "What's open now may become impassable".

At Fayetteville, about 160 kilometres inland, near the Army's sprawling Fort Bragg, the Cape Fear River had risen about 15 metres toward a crest predicted to be more than seven metres above flood level.

Civil Air patrol members handing a case of water to a citizen

Thousands of rescues have taken place in the Carolinas, and more than 650 people were taken to safety in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, said Barbi Baker, a spokeswoman for New Hanover County.

A portion of a motel collapsed from the weight of water, which made only the roof of the Starlite Motel visible in Spring Lake in Cumberland County, said Sherita Brooks of the county's Division of Social Services.

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.

Gasoline shortages were a problem.

"I know it was hard to leave home, and it is even harder to wait and wonder whether you even have a home to go back to", Gov. Roy Cooper said as officials began distributing supplies to residents of Wilmington, population 120,000.

At another gas station, a long line of vehicles followed a tanker truck that pulled in with 8,800 gallons (33,000 liters) of fuel.

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