“He let go”: Mom recalls son being swept away as flooding grips N.C.

It has stopped raining in the Carolinas, but the remains of Hurricane Florence are still creating danger. The swollen Cape Fear River reached nearly 58 feet on Monday and is expected to crest soon. It’s already causing floodwaters to rush into downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is mostly underwater, reports CBS News’ DeMarco Morgan.

Hope Mills resident Brandon Plotnick is worried about the Cape Fear River’s crest.

“I think people are getting complacent and that’s dangerous,” Plotnick said. “That’s a lot of water and that water’s gotta go somewhere.”

Rescues continued Monday throughout North Carolina. Crews used boats to help evacuate people in Lumberton trapped by floodwaters.

“I thought we were okay until last night when the water just kept coming up and up,” one Lumberton resident said.

The Lumber River in Lumberton is cresting, and will not go below major flood stage until at least next week. It was that same river that caused all of the massive flooding during Hurricane Matthew. 

“Our biggest threat here in this area is the Lumber River rising,” said Pembroke police rescue commander Matthew Locklear.

As the water rises, so does Florence’s death toll, which nearly doubled on Monday to at least 32. Florence spun off a tornado that killed at least one person in Virginia Monday, when a warehouse collapsed. That storm system is now dumping rain on the Northeast. 

Dazia Lee’s 14-month-old son Kaiden Lee-Welch was killed after being swept away by rushing floodwaters in Union County Sunday night. Kaiden’s body was recovered Monday.

“I was holding his hand, trying to hold him, trying to pull him up and it got to a point I couldn’t hold on anymore and he let go,” Lee said. “I did everything I could from the moment I was pregnant to the moment I lost him. I did everything I could as a parent to save him and protect him.”

The Cape Fear River is expected to crest later today or Wednesday, but the river will not go below flood stage until at least Saturday. The rain may be over here, but Florence’s grip is not.

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