A man walks his dog through flood waters during high tide on the Isle of Palms, S.C (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Flooding from days of record-setting rain along the East Coast has washed out bridges and homes and forecasters are warning wind gusts topping 35 mph could down trees and power lines across the Carolinas and Virginia.

At least five weather-related deaths have been reported since rains began along the Eastern Seaboard, which apparently has dodged the full fury of Hurricane Joaquin hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic.

President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in South Carolina and ordered federal aid as flood warnings remained in effect for many parts of the East Coast through Sunday.

The steady downpour arose from a slow-moving low-pressure system over the Southeast that has linked up to a finger of tropical moisture from Hurricane Joaquin.

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