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At Least 14 Dead, and 740,000 Without Power as Florence Weakens to a Tropical Depression

Hurricane FlorenceHurricane Florence
Riegelwood first responders close a road after a car was trapped in rising flood waters covering streets on Saturday, Sept 15, 2018 in Waccamaw, NC. Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Hurricane Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday morning, but the storm brought significant damage to affected areas and a death toll of at least 14, the New York Times reported.

The deaths include a woman and child who were killed when a tree fell on their home, a mother of two who was driving when her vehicle hit a tree in the road, three people who died from flash-flooding, and a couple who died in a house fire.

More than 740,000 people were without power on Sunday morning in the Carolinas, CNN reported. But earlier reports suggested that 3 million people could be affected by power outages. Parts of North Carolina could still see up to 40 inches of rain going into Monday, according to USA Today.

“These rainfall amounts will produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding and an elevated risk for landslides in western North Carolina and far southwest Virginia,” the National Hurricane Center warned in a public advisory. The NHC also warned of possible tornadoes into Sunday evening in North Carolina and eastern South Carolina.

Some places in parts of North Carolina were still issuing evacuation orders on Sunday. Fayetteville residents living within one mile of the Cape Fear river and the Little River were told to evacuate by 3 p.m. local time, due to the potential for river flooding.

“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,” Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin warned, according to USA Today.

Western North Carolina is also at risk of landslides, the National Hurricane Center warned early Sunday.