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At least 32 dead as a result of Florence

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Authorities say the number of deaths tied to Florence has risen to at least 32, the bulk of them in North Carolina.

Officials say the latest deaths include a person who died in an apparent tornado near Richmond, Virginia, as remnants from the once-powerful hurricane swept northward from the Carolinas.

North Carolina authorities released a full list of deaths on Monday afternoon, bringing the death toll for the state up to 25.

Many areas in South Carolina’s northeastern corner are already covered in water as the state prepares for what officials say could be as much as a foot more of water flowing into the state’s rivers following Florence.

A reporter traveling with Gov. Henry McMaster aboard a National Guard helicopter Monday saw homes, businesses and other structures already surrounded by water as river levels continue to rise.

The tiny town of Nichols was nearly entirely destroyed in the flooding that followed Hurricane Matthew in 2016. On Monday, a river that flows alongside the town was swollen, and local officials say they were trying to evacuate all residents.

Areas from Florence to Chesterfield, Conway and Dillon were dotted with expanses of water Monday. Officials say rivers in the area may not crest for several more days.

President Donald Trump says the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes in Puerto Rico have been an “incredible, tough situation” but adds, “we fought, and we are winning that one big.”

Trump is speaking at a White House event honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. Trump is recognizing Puerto Rican Lt. Gov. Luis Rivera Marín and says “we stand with Puerto Rico” and will help the island rebuild “stronger and better than ever before.”

The president last week disputed the death toll in Puerto Rico from last year’s Hurricane Maria.

Trump is also addressing the impact of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. He says, “We will do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe,” and the nation grieves for those who have lost loved ones in the storm.

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