Storm Isaac to weaken gradually over next few days: NHC

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The death toll from Florence rose to at least 21, and crews elsewhere used helicopters and boats to rescue people trapped by still-rising rivers. Rip currents will be a threat there and along the island's north coast. Isaac is forecast to gradually weaken over the next few days, and could degenerate into a tropical wave at any time.

One route into the city was reopened by midday Monday, officials said, but it wasn't clear which road was open and whether it available to the general public.

City officials warned that still-rising water threatened some neighborhoods and businesses that seemed safe, but said the worst was almost over and life was beginning to return to normal downtown.

In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged them to stay in safer locations despite forecast changes showing Florences path largely missing the state.

"There's too much going on", he told a news conference. Others got a case of bottled water or military MREs, or field rations. "During Matthew the water never reached their house", she said.

Mayor Bill Saffo said he was working with the governor's office to get more fuel into Wilmington.

The problem was water, and lots of it, in Wilmington. The smell of cracked pine trees wafted through hard-hit neighborhoods. The Defense Department said about 13,500 military personnel were assigned to help relief efforts. Harvey's total of 60.58 inches previous year in Texas is No. 1.

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina, as Florence's remnants went in two directions: Water flowed downstream toward the Carolina coast, and storms raced through the Northeast, where flash floods hit New Hampshire and NY state.

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"It's all kind of a blur", said Monroe, the sky overhead sunny and bright after the rain finally stopped.

At another gas station, a long line of vehicles followed a tanker truck that pulled in with 8,800 gallons of fuel.

The deadly storm was still dumping rain and had top winds around 30 miles per hour (50 kph) early Monday, but forecasters said it was expected to gradually pick up forward speed and complete a big turn toward the Northeast, which also is in for a drenching of as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain.

In its 11 a.m. Thursday update, the National Hurricane Center said satellite imagery indicated that Isaac remains a poorly organized tropical cyclone, with the low-level center mostly exposed during the past several hours.

Flooding worries increased in Virginia, where roads were closed and power outages were on the rise. About 500,000 homes and businesses were in the dark.

The death toll climbed by three as authorities found the body of a 1-year-old boy who was swept away after his mother drove into floodwaters and lost her grip on him while trying to get back to dry land.

Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organised" weather system that is likely to strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and SC in the bull's-eye.

Emergency officials had difficulty keeping up with the scope of the spreading disaster. Emergency workers reported rescuing and evacuating more than 2,200 people and around 575 animals, he said.

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