US President Donald Trump is expected on Wednesday to visit North Carolina, which is bearing the brunt of Florence's deadly deluge and where rivers are still rising while thousands of homes and roadways remain submerged.
The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina, as Florence's remnants went in two directions: Water flowed downstream toward the Carolina coast, and storms raced through the Northeast and in to the Atlantic.
While DiPaola has said he "came to North Carolina to cover a story, not become the story, for obvious ethical reasons", the dogs aren't the only lives he's helped saved; a feral kitten struggling with the flood waters was also, luckily, in DiPaola's path.
As Florence was bearing down on the Carolinas last week, Trump reignited the controversy over his handling of Maria by disputing the official death toll of 2,975 in the US territory, which was compiled by public health experts at George Washington University.
Hurricane Florence: 4 storm-related deaths reported
At 9 a.m. the center of the hurricane was about 55 miles (90 kilometers) east of Myrtle Beach. NHC forecasters say that a slow southwestward motion is expected for the next couple of days.
He sympathized with those who were forced to flee and are now relying on government-distributed bottled water and ready-to-eat field rations.
In a video released by the White House Tuesday night, Trump expressed condolences and thanked first responders for their efforts to save lives, while describing Florence as a particularly hard storm. An olive-drab military forklift moved around huge pallets loaded with supplies.
"It's been pretty bad", said Echavarrieta, 34, his voice breaking.
Hurricane Florence's torrential rains have flooded much of the area and washed over sections of numerous roads, including the interstate. Almost 50,000 homes and businesses remain without power in the county where Wilmington is located.
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However, some sections of I-95 in North Carolina may still be closed, officials warned.
It's too early to tell how many people will end up homeless because of Florence.
The risk of environmental damage mounted, as human and animal waste was washed into the swirling floodwaters. Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said it was unclear if the bridge was threatened.
Experts say people likely got complacent about Florence because of a scale that only categorizes hurricanes by wind strength.
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The Transportation Department advised northbound motorists to take a wide detour around the area by using I-85 from Georgia through South Carolina's Upstate and on to Charlotte.