MIAMI (AP) — The latest on drenching storms threatening the East Coast as Hurricane Joaquin swirls in the Atlantic. All times local:
The N.C. Department of Transportation has closed a road on an island in the Outer Banks due to flooding.
The department announced Friday night that N.C. 12 on Ocracoke Island was closed due to sound-side flooding. A statement said the road was closed from the Pony Pen to the Hatteras Ferry terminal. Reports indicated there were about 2 feet of water on the two-lane road.
Maintenance crews will go out Saturday morning to assess the conditions. Also, NCDOT said there will be no Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry service until the road is reopened.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley urged residents Friday to prepare for historic rainfalls over the weekend that will bring extensive flooding and power outages.
She said people who live in low-lying areas need to go ahead and leave. Shelters will open as needed. Otherwise, residents should stay at home and off roads.
While the state has not ordered evacuations, Haley said, "if you have ever flooded before, go ahead and get out of the way" because there will be massive flooding, she said. If people stay and need help later, "we don't know how long it will take us to get you out of there."
Forecasters expect up to 14 inches of rain to fall in the Midlands through Monday and up to 12 inches in the rest of the state.
Heavy rainfall has disrupted transportation in some communities along the East Coast.
Delaware transportation officials closed part of a major coastal road because of flooding Friday.
Officials say high water has forced the closing of State Route 1 northbound and southbound between Bethany and Dewey Beach, including the bridge over the Indian River Inlet.
In Virginia, the state Department of Transportation has temporarily suspended ferry service at the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry.
VDOT says high waters caused by heavy rain and high tides are preventing the loading ramps on the docks from safely being raised and lowered onto the ferry boats.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says days of steady rain across most of the state will present a threat into next week even though the projected track of Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN') has it moving away from the East Coast.
McCrory says with most of the state expected to receive up to 7 inches of rain by Sunday and some mountain communities getting as much as 10 inches, landslides and flooding are a danger. The flooding threat will continue into next week as rainfall collects in swelling creeks and rivers.
The governor said within 24 hours of Hyde County officials declaring a mandatory evacuation of low-lying Ocracoke Island, the state's ferry division had removed 485 vehicles and nearly 1,100 people
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has declared a limited state of emergency as his state braced for coastal flooding and high winds from the nor'easterlike storm.
Moderate to major coastal flooding was expected at high tides Friday and Saturday, with high wind warnings along the Delaware coast.
State offices are remaining open and no driving restrictions have been implemented, but officials are advising residents of flood-prone areas to consider taking precautions, including evacuating voluntarily or planning for evacuation.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says his state won't get as much rain as it initially thought, but that New Jersey's four southernmost counties are still likely to suffer moderate to major flooding.
Virginia State Police say they've responded to dozens of vehicle crashes throughout the state as heavy rains cause problems for motorists.
Police say they responded to 74 crashes and 52 disabled vehicles by midday Friday.
Meanwhile, in South Carolina, heavy rains have prompted a flood warning for both the Great Pee Dee River and Black Creek affecting areas in Marion, Florence and Darlington counties.
Forecasters say the flooding will affect timber operations in the area and that is equipment not moved before the flood will be trapped until water levels recede.
East Coast states already drenched by rain and expecting more are getting some potential relief: Forecast maps for Hurricane Joaquin show that it's no longer likely to directly hit the United States.
On Friday morning, the Category 4 hurricane was battering the Bahamas. Slow weakening of the storm was expected to begin Saturday.
Earlier in the week, forecasters thought the storm could make landfall in the U.S., but they've backed off those predictions.
Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, says, "The models have become much more in agreement, and we are pretty confident the hurricane is going to pass well offshore of the east coast of the U.S."
The North Carolina Highway Patrol has identified the person who died in a wreck on Interstate 95 in Cumberland County amid storms when a tree fell on a car.
Lt. Jeff Gordon said Friday morning that the passenger who died was 72--year-old Saeideeh Sharifian of Fayetteville.
Gordon said the wreck Thursday afternoon might have been weather-related because the ground had been soaked from several days of rain.
He said two vehicles were traveling south near Godwin around 1:30 p.m. Thursday when a tree fell across the road, hitting both vehicles.
Gordon says the driver of the car Sharifian was in was taken to Cape Fear Regional Medical Center for treatment. There was no immediate word on the driver's condition.
The driver of the second vehicle was not hurt.
The United States Coast Guard has rescued 12 people who abandoned their 212-foot cargo ship that began taking on water north of Haiti.
Coast Guard officials in Miami say the rescue took place Thursday evening as the area experienced heavy weather caused by Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN').
Officials say they received a message from the British coast guard about the Bolivian-flagged cargo ship Minouche. The message stated that the ship was listing and crew members were preparing to abandon it.
The Coast Guard diverted a cutter and launched a helicopter. A good Samaritan vessel also diverted to the ship's last known position.
The good Samaritan ship located the crew members and the Coast Guard crew hoisted them into the helicopter and took them to Great Inagua, Bahamas. There were no major injuries reported.
With already-saturated soils and flooded roads, East Coast states are bracing for another day of dreary and possibly dangerous weather as forecasters predict more downpours and a possible added punch from powerful Hurricane Joaquin (wah-KEEN').
Two storm-related deaths have already occurred in the Carolinas, where heavy rain has fallen for days. Governors up and down the East Coast warned residents to prepare, declaring states of emergency in Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Forecasters say a heavy rainstorm parked over the region will pull moisture from an approaching Joaquin and affect the hurricane's course. But even areas that wind up outside of the hurricane's path are in for heavy rains.