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Downgraded to a Tropical Storm, its core is now drifting westward over SC, threatening more flash floods and major river flooding.

The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm has climbed to at least five.

More than 20,000 people were in 157 shelters in North Carolina, with almost 6,000 in SC shelters, officials said.

The rain was unrelenting in Cheraw, a town of about 6,000 people in northeastern SC. "Florence's 18 trillion gallons is as much water as there is in the entire Chesapeake Bay", its article says.

The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.

"This storm is not yet done", said County Manager Chris Coudriet, warning of continuing rain and winds.

"This storm is still deadly and risky and it's expected to turn northward later today into Virginia and the mid-Atlantic", he said.

"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them you are risking your life", the state's governor Roy Cooper said.

Governor Cooper advised North Carolina residents inland that rivers will rise days after the rain has stopped.

There are no coastal watches and warnings in effect, although flash flood warnings are in effect across a large portion of southern and western North Carolina and parts of northeast SC and southwest Virginia. More than 15,000 people are staying at 150 emergency shelters.

As rivers swelled toward record levels, state regulators and environmental groups were monitoring the threat from enormous hog and poultry farms located in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

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Florence "has been most unpredictable, but what has been predictable and steady is our concern for heavy rain and flooding", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the storm's victims Saturday evening.

The remainder of northern SC into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia could see 5 to 10 inches of rainfall, with some isolated areas seeing 15 inches. The authorities of the States of Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and the nation's capital of Washington imposed a state of emergency.

Deadly storm Florence drenched North Carolina with more downpours on Sunday, cutting off the coastal city of Wilmington, damaging tens of thousands of homes and threatening worse flooding as rivers fill to the bursting point.

"If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible", Mayor Mitch Colvin said.

"There's a lot of rain to come", he added.

A senior assisted living facility in Cumberland County, NC, was evacuated Saturday, due to flooding concerns around the Cape Fear River, according to WTVD. Sutton was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating ash to remove to safer lined landfills. Authorities in the USA state of North Carolina have warned residents that flooding could get worse.

The deaths came as the storm was turning through the southeast part of the state, dumping more than 20 inches of rain in some communities.

The storm should move up into West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and parts of New England by Tuesday, dropping 2 to 4 inches of rain there. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit. Along with other home cleanup and fix work ministries, Frazier said his group works to "basically restore somebody back to where they were as much as we can".

About 532,338 customers in North Carolina and 61,000 in SC don't have power.


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