2 dead after van is swept away in S. Carolina

Two detainees drown in Little Pee Dee River bodies not recovered

The Little Pee Dee River reached major flood stage after Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas over the weekend

U.S. Northern Command said in a news release late Tuesday that about 5,600 personnel are active-duty and reserve forces.

In a statement, the sheriff's office said the two deputies escaped from the cab and tried to get the women out of the back.

The van was traveling west on Highway 76 into neighboring Marion County when floodwaters overcame the vehicle.

Two female mental health patients detained for medical transport drowned Tuesday night when a sheriff's department van was swept away in rising SC floodwaters, according to authorities.

It happened in Horry County on Highway 917 Tuesday night as the van was in still water on Pee Dee Island Road near the bridge.

Thompson said he did not think the women were in restraints in the back of the van, noting that restraints are used for combative patients "and I understand they were not".

Divers recovered the bodies of Windy Newton, 45, of Shallotte, North Carolina, and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach, by cutting a hole in the top of the submerged van on Wednesday, Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson said Thursday. "It's come up 2 feet (0.6 metres) since just last night".

The death toll from Florence reached at least 37 in three states Tuesday, as Florence went in two directions: Water flowed downstream toward the Carolina coast, and storms hit the Northeast, where flash floods struck New Hampshire and NY state.

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North Carolina officials say a body has been found in a trailer near the flooding Cape Fear River. "We are fully cooperating with the State Law Enforcement Division to support their investigation of this event".

"A Horry County Sheriff's Office transportation vehicle was involved in a high-water incident tonight".

It was reported early Tuesday that the Pee Dee River was rising above flood stage and spilling its banks and roadways were flooding but some passable. Their names have not been released.

In all, Hurricane Florence has contributed to at least 37 deaths, including at least 27 in North Carolina, officials say.

"At this time, the recovery effort is ongoing, and the transportation vehicle can not be removed due to rising waters and risky conditions", the sheriff's office said.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths. State police spokesman Thom Berry told the AP on Wednesday that agents were on the scene aiding in the recovery effort.

Forecasters predict some rivers in the northeastern area of the state might not reach their highest levels until later this week or next week.

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