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Drivers asked to 'go around' North Carolina due to flooded roads

Detour map around NC (NCDOT)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WSET) -- Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Florence are producing flash flooding and major river flooding in the southeastern part of North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center says excessive amounts of rain are being dumped on the state. It says the effect is expected to be “catastrophic.” In its 11 p.m. update Saturday, the center also says an elevated risk of landslides is now expected in western North Carolina as heavy rains spread there.

At least 14 people are dead.

Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson says 23-year-old Michael Dalton Prince was a passenger in the truck, which lost control on a flooded two-lane road early Sunday.

The issues prompted North Carolina to tell drivers coming down Interstate 95 from Virginia to go around the entire state.

The state wants motorists to go west to Tennessee and take Interstate 75 into Georgia.

A 16-mile stretch of the highway closed Saturday because of flooding.

Serious flooding is expected throughout the two states, and some rivers may not crest for another three to five days.

New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people were safely rescued in the town of 30,000 residents. She called damage to thousands of buildings "heart-wrenching."

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