Swollen rivers near record levels as Florence

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Rescuers are plucking residents from flooded homes as North Carolina’s swollen rivers are reaching record or near record crests from the epic rains unleashed by Florence.

Though downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence is still massive and dangerous as it covers parts of six states with North Carolina still very much in the bull’s eye. At least 17 people have been confirmed dead from the fierce storm and officials warn several North Carolina rivers could reach record or near-record crests starting later Monday.

Meanwhile, the city of Wilmington has been largely cut off from the rest of North Carolina by still-rising floodwaters from Florence. Emergency officials say they plan to airlift food and water to the beleaguered city of nearly 120,000 people.