After Hurricane Florence: Aerial views of flooding in the Carolinas

Coast Guard crews discuss tactics prior to conducting rescue operations in response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina Sunday Sept. 16 2018. The Coast Guard is working with state and local agencies throughout the affected region. Image USCG

The county has assembled several rescue crews to save people from floods and filled thousands of sandbags over the last couple of days, officials said on social media.

Michael Regan is secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The damage continues to mount - new reports indicate that a dam breach is causing coal ash from a power plant to spill into a river.

About 25 miles (40 kilometers) nearer to the SC coast, Kevin Tovornik tore out carpet and removed furniture as a preventative measure because he expected flooding at the house he has owned for 20 years in Conway, where the Waccamaw River was still rising.

Mike Sprayberry, director of the state's emergency management office, said at the Saturday news conference that several rivers continue to flood, including the Cape Fear River in Pender County and the Lumber River in Robeson County.

Coal ash is an industrial waste created by coal-burning power plants, and can carry health risks. He said the DEQ is trying to ascertain how much, if any has entered the Neuse River.

The ash left over from coal burned to generate electricity contains an array of chemicals, including mercury, lead, arsenic and other toxic heavy metals. "Proactively clearing potential legal and fiscal hurdles in preparation for a relief package will signal to our Congressional partners that North Carolina is ready to immediately begin aid disbursal". The program will start in nine counties and residents will be allowed to choose transitional housing close to their permanent homes. "Some locations won't see rivers crest until this weekend and flooding won't subside until next week", he said in another twitter post.

In Bladen County, North Carolina, about 100 people and 33 animals were rescued "in a risky operation in the middle of the night" after a dam burst, Cooper said in another post.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said in a news release Thursday that he wanted the legislature to return on October 9 to handle Hurricane Florence relief.

Thirty flood gauges in North and SC showed flooding on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of Interstate 95 and I-40 remain underwater and state officials said all of the water won't recede for another full week or so.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said it was monitoring four areas in the Atlantic for signs of a new tropical weather threat.

Moody's Analytics said Monday the hurricane's cost is estimated between $17 billion to $22 billion.

Forecasters say it now poses no threats to land.

SC communities along waterways near the Atlantic coast were racing on Saturday to prepare for the possible onslaught of unsafe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which has killed at least 40 people.

Along the river, David Lloydand Benetta White and their four children were given short notice to evacuate overnight as floodwaters swept over their property. By the time they got loaded into their van, water was waist-high and they had to slog through a foul-smelling soup to get to a neighbor's pickup.

Rescuers wearing night-vision goggles used helicopters, boats and big-wheeled military vehicles overnight to evacuate about 100 people from a southeastern North Carolina county where high water breached a levee and flooded a town.

Florence is blamed for at least 41 deaths in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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