North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Monday that the death toll from Florence had risen to 35 in the state.
In a media briefing about recovery efforts, Cooper also said that Interstate 40 had reopened between Wilmington and Raleigh. Officials also noted that U.S. 74 from Charlotte to Wilmington had reopened except for one lane in Columbus County.
Cooper said 15 key routes along with about 400 state-controlled roads in the were still closed from flooding or damage. A major road that remains closed is U.S. 421, which is heavily damaged the at New Hanover/Pender county line from flooding.
Cooper said that only 5,000 customers across the state are without power.
The latest two deaths are a 51-year-old woman who was discovered in a submerged vehicle in Robeson County and an 82-year-old man died from suicide in Beaufort County on Saturday after his house was condemned because of Florence flooding, Cooper said in a news release.
There are about 2,000 people still in shelters and 80,000 people have applied for aid from FEMA, Cooper said.
A hydrologist says most areas of the Carolinas have seen the worst of the flooding but people need to remain cautious.
National Weather Service hydrologist Todd Hamill says most of the rivers have crested and that water is moving toward the coast.
Hammill says numerous river crests set records across the Carolinas and though some spots are still in record flood stage, most are at the lower, major flooding stage. People there “still need to be cautious.”