Florence flooding updates: Rivers yet to crest; NC death toll jumps to 25

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Cumberland County is bracing for potentially dangerous flooding Tuesday as the Cape Fear River crests in the morning, with amounts expected to exceed that which were seen during Hurricane Matthew.

Downloading the ABC11 app is the best way to stay up-to-date on the latest conditions from Florence.

The rainfall that fell Monday night is accumulating in tributaries and flowing into the Little River and authorities are expecting as much as an inch of rain overnight. The Little River will crest between midnight and sunrise, and that river will not go down quickly, contributing to the Cape Fear River’s already-overflowing banks.

ABC11 Together and the American Red Cross are teaming up on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a Hurricane Florence Relief Drive.

“This could be a long-lasting and dangerous situation that will likely not subside until well into the weekend,” officials said in a joint statement from Cumberland County and the City of Fayetteville.

Emergency management officials remind residents they should pick a side, either east or west of the Cape Fear River, because they may have to stay there until bridges reopen.

“The crisis in North Carolina continues,” Gov. Roy Cooper said during a news conference Monday. “Catastrophic flooding and tornadoes are still claiming lives and property. My most important message is first: For many parts of North Carolina, the danger is still immediate.”

There is a strong potential those within the one-mile evacuation area of the Cape Fear River will be affected by flooding. Additionally, high speed, fast-moving water with debris will likely cause bridge damage and it is advised that residents do not walk or drive on bridges that have been flooded.

Cumberland County officials said Monday afternoon that as of 2:10 p.m. there had been 62 people, two dogs and two cats rescued throughout the county. Fifty-nine of the rescues were conducted in the county and three in the City of Fayetteville.

In some places, the rain finally stopped, and the sun peeked through, but Cooper warned that dangerously high water would persist for days. He urged residents who were evacuated from the hardest-hit areas to stay away because of closed roads and catastrophic flooding that submerged entire communities.

The death toll has climbed to 32 storm-related deaths, according to The Associated Press. Twenty-five were in North Carolina and the rest in South Carolina.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has 300 people on the ground and is ready to go into places such as Wilmington as soon as it is safe to do so.

Nielsen spoke Monday in Raleigh before surveying flood damage in Kinston.

Nielsen said she briefed President Donald Trump on Florence response and recovery efforts in the Carolinas on Monday morning. She said the president would arrive himself as soon as it was safe, so as to not disrupt any lifesaving operations.

She urged evacuees to stay where they are until local officials say the danger of more flooding has passed. She also warned people about the dangers of walking or driving in flooded areas

Overlake Dr, Shoreline Drive, Woods Ln, Eulon Loop, Pecan Trace Road, Lakeside Road, Country Walk Subdivisions – all roads, Zane Dr, Southern Oaks Rd, Bostic Rd, Bill Wright Rd, Lena Dr, Swift Creek Rd, Jody Ln, Myra Rd, Gully Branch Rd, Briar Hill Rd, Mumford Rd, Wildlife Ln, Camp Rockfish Rd, Arabia Rd (from Davis Bridge Rd to Sunset Lake Rd), Everitt Rd (from Arabia Rd to Creekside subdivision), Rockfish Rd (Camden Rd to Davis Bridge Rd), David Bridge Rd to County Line

Affected areas are those that will be impacted by the emptying of the McLaughlin Lake into the Gulley Branch, flowing into the Upchurch Pond. Fort Bragg and Coast Guard Units will be on scene to assist residents with the evacuation.

WATCH: Heavy flooding following Hurricane Florence creates extremely dangerous conditions

Here’s how to monitor potential flooding in your area.

The flooding after Hurricane Florence has reached historic levels in more than one part of the state. Morehead City broke the official record for most rainfall ever recorded in the state from a tropical system when 25.77 inches were recorded there. Wilmington, meanwhile, has already surpassed its annual rainfall total with three months to go.

Rivers have also reached historic levels. The Cape Fear River is expected to crest above levels brought by Hurricane Matthew.

Authorities advise not to go into the floodwaters as they could pose dangers, such as snakes, and health risks, such as sewage water.

RELATED: Flood safety information to know


A massive rescue effort is still underway. Crews said the conditions may only get worse as rain continues to fall.

First responders from local, state and federal agencies are helping those stranded by high water, and many more are standing by to be deployed.

ABC11’s Julie Wilson accompanied one team of volunteers and helped save a dog. Other cats and dogs were among the rescued.


Emergency information
911 or 211: Which should you call?

Stay up-to-date on power outages.

See the list of 120 shelters for Florence evacuees.

See the latest road closures around the state.

Around the Triangle

Several local school districts and universities are closed Monday and Tuesday. See the list.

Here’s what you need to know about trash pick-ups, curfews, bus schedules and more.

For victims

Find out how to get emergency federal assistance.

Here’s how to get mental health support after the storm.

How to help

Find out how you can help the victims.

See how Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is helping Florence evacuees.

The Cary VFW has been designated as a relief distribution point.

Finally, find full coverage of the storm here.

(Copyright ©2018 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.)