Death toll reaches 13 from historic flooding in the Carolinas

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The death toll from historic flooding in the US states of South and North Carolina reached 13 on Tuesday, local authorities said.

Despite the rainfall having tapered off, many residents remain stranded in their homes because of flooded streets, and thousands are without water or electricity, according to The State newspaper.

“We are not close to being out of the woods” said Columbia, South Carolina, mayor Stephen Benjamin. That city had curfews in place for two nights running. Many who were evacuated remained in emergency shelters.

In some areas of the state up to 51 centimetres of rain fell over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

A low-pressure system stalled offshore in the wake of Hurricane Joaquin, funneling rain into the south-eastern United States.

Floodwaters breached at least nine of 18 dams in the affected area, and the damage is estimated to reach into the billions of dollars.

“It was a garden hose that just kept pouring ashore in one spot, and that spot was South Carolina,” Benjamin said, referring to the historic rainfall the capital city endured.

Besides the immediate dangers there are also concerns of infection spreading via contaminated flood waters. CNN showed pictures of floating caskets in a cemetery.

There is also a danger from snakes and alligators coming into residential areas via the floodwaters. Other threats were man-made: Some residents have reported looting.

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