Weather forecasters warn of the risk of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of North and South Carolina, and Virginia, from storm Florence.

It has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm but continues to soak the East Coast area with rain, downing trees and damaging homes.

It is slowly grinding over the eastern states, with winds of 65mph (105km/h).

Five deaths have been linked to the storm and thousands of people have been staying in emergency shelters.

Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region.

More than 20,000 residents have packed into North Carolina emergency shelters, and officials have told those still in the storm’s path to stay in place.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, officials had rescued more than 60 people overnight on Thursday from a hotel that was collapsing in the storm.

Parts of New Bern, North Carolina, which is home to 30,000 people, were 10ft underwater on Friday after local rivers flooded their banks.

Scores of residents in the riverfront city were plucked to safety, local reports say.