Florence death toll rises to 43 as floods wreak havoc in Carolinas

A wastewater treatment plant is inundated from floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Marion South Carolina

Griff Jenkins reports from Fayetteville, North Carolina.

While Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm by the time it struck the area on September 15, it still managed to dump a record 23 inches of rain in SC and 35 inches in North Carolina, over the course of just four days.

Additionally, the Carolina Panthers staff and players will engage in direct service projects for impacted areas. Other deaths were reported earlier in SC and Virginia.

A vehicle sits in a flooded parking lot at an apartment complex near the Cape Fear River as it continues to rise in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Fayetteville, Sept. 18, 2018.

Before heading to the flood-ravaged areas of the Carolinas on Wednesday, President Trump spoke to reporters, offering new praise of Brett Kavanaugh amid his sexual assault allegations.

The President then met with local and state officials, SC senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and Congressman Tom Rice at the Horry County Emergency Operations Center, assuring them that Washington is behind the county and will provide federal help.

Just hours before closing the road, officials with the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) had announced the reopening of the vital east coast thoroughfare - which experienced severe flooding in low-lying areas between mile markers 181 and 190 in Dillon County, S.C. earlier this week. "This boat. They don't know what happened".

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Flooding across the Carolinas was expected to worsen over the next couple of days, forecasters said.

"We've never had it at those levels before, so we don't really know what the impact will be just yet", he said.

SC governor Henry McMaster estimated his state has already suffered $1.2bn in damage.

Aerial view of farms flooded after the passing of Hurricane Florence in eastern North Carolina on September 17, 2018. He asked Congress for help.

The president then traveled to SC, where he attended a second briefing and warned residents that the flooding was expected to continue.

On the Cape Fear River, Duke Energy said Friday that a dam containing a large lake at Wilmington, N.C. power plant has been breached by floodwaters from Florence, and it's possible coal ash from an adjacent dump is flowing into the water. North Carolina is one of the leading hog-producing states in the country.

The risk of environmental damage mounted, as human and animal waste was washed into the swirling floodwaters.

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