Florence rainfall totals for North Carolina: 8 trillion gallons

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More than a dozen rivers in North and SC already have overflowed their banks and the water - particularly the Waccamaw River, which spans both states - is expected to swell putting additional residents in harm's way. He loaded all of his furniture into a borrowed flatbed hay trailer and took it to a warehouse where space was being donated to possible flood victims.

"Although the winds are gone and the rain is not falling, the water is still there and the worst is still to come", said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

With the Great Pee Dee River receding, state officials said Interstate 95 in SC would reopen after a safety check, but travelers couldn't get very far since the highway was still closed in North Carolina because of the flooded Lumber River.

A stool sits in the middle of a roadway in floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Nichols, S.C., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.

Potential environmental problems remained.

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

At least 42 people have died, included an elderly man whose body was found in a pickup truck that had been submerged in SC, and hundreds were forced from their homes as rivers kept swelling higher and higher. The utility said it could not rule out the possibility that coal ash from a dump adjacent to the plant, which formerly burned coal, might be flowing into the nearby Cape Fear River.

Some 4,700 people across North Carolina have been rescued by boat or helicopter since the storm made landfall, twice as many as in Hurricane Matthew two years ago, according to state officials.

More than 10,000 people are still in shelters across the state, where they are forced to wait hours in line for food, water and other basic necessities.

"In anticipation of a substantial future federal appropriation, we intend to make an immediate down payment on Hurricane Florence relief funds". This year, the water broke the windows, leaving the pews a jumbled mess and soaked Bibles and hymn books on the floor. Well over half of those killed were in vehicles. "When it comes to moving product, there's obviously challenges with major routes like I-95, I-75 and I-40 being closed and having to detour around that", Perdue Farms spokesman Joe Forsthoffer said. Officials announced the end of a curfew and the resumption of regular trash pickup.

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Cooper, meanwhile, has praised efforts of first responders who evacuated people from rising floodwaters.

The storm continues to severely hamper travel. Unsafe flooding and evacuations may begin early next week, officials said.

Around 750 roads remained closed across North Carolina on Thursday, down from around 2,200, according to the state's Department of Transportation. More than 60 people needed rescue from high waters flooding parks and roads in Fayetteville and its suburbs, where a dam overflowed and thousands of people within 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of the river were warned to find higher ground.

The Waccamaw River has started its slow rise in the city of 23,000, and forecasters expect it to swell more than 3 feet (0.90 meters) above the previous record crest by Tuesday while still rising.

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