BBC: Waffle House as a barometer of disaster

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As flooding continues to inundate North Carolina, the death toll from Florence has risen to at least 31, with 24 deaths confirmed in North Carolina.

The state’s governor, Roy Cooper, said on Monday that the “epic storm” was still an immediate danger as rivers reach major flood levels.

The coastal city of Wilmington became an island amid heavy floods following the storm.

Officials have warned evacuated residents to stay away.

At a news conference on Monday, Gov Cooper said “catastrophic flooding and tornados are still claiming lives and property” across the state.

“For many parts of North Carolina the danger is still immediate,” he said. “Some areas have not seen the worst flooding yet. This is a monumental disaster for our state.”

An initial estimate from Moody’s Analytics puts the cost of Florence between $17bn (£13bn) and $22bn, making the storm one of the 10 costliest hurricanes in US history, according to NPR.

Most of the monetary damage is due to property loss, and the company said these figures could rise as inland flooding continues.

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