Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Science | By

President Trump visits Carolinas to survey Hurricane Florence damage

President Trump visits Carolinas to survey Hurricane Florence damage

"I'm just assuming, based on the depth of the water that we had in North Carolina and the amount of rainfall, that we probably will exceed what we had in [Hurricane] Matthew", Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in an interview, referring to hog losses. Fire and rescue crews were waiting to go into many areas to assist with structural damage resulting from Florence, which has dumped up to 36 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina since Thursday.

He was accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long, Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of SC.

Officials said residents should not attempt to return to the counties along the state's coast around Wilmington yet due to continued risk of flooding.

Items have been brought into the city by big military trucks and helicopters, which also have been used to pluck hundreds of desperate people from atop homes and other structures. In South Carolina, 40 major roads were closed.

Rescuers have saved about 700 people in New Hanover county, where Wilmington is located, and 2,600 people across the state. "We want you here. They can't say for certain what it might do", Conway resident Joe Holmes told the AP on Monday. "But access to Wilmington is still very limited and is not improving as quickly as we would like". The National Weather Service says more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain had fallen by Tuesday morning from the Elmira area to counties in southeastern NY.

Officials were preparing to distribute food, water and tarpaulins in the city of 120,000, as more people were rescued from flooded neighborhoods. Businesses were re-opening, and owners were removing sandbags and plywood from storefronts.

In addition, the company reported there are about 6.33 million chicken at about 30 farms in the Lumberton area isolated by floodwaters and now unreachable.

"While we will work hard over the next week to get our operations back on line, our primary focus will be to respond to the needs of our local communities", Sanderson Jr. said. A dozen more such pits, which contain animal feces and urine, were damaged.

In a bright spot, the Lumber River appeared to be falling in hard-hit Lumberton, about 70 miles inland.

With that in mind, the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition and DJ Nacho Productions teamed up to help people in North and SC who are dealing with the mess Hurricane Florence left behind.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump sought to blunt future criticism from Democrats about his administration's handling of Florence, predicting in a pair of tweets that they would soon be "ranting" despite the "great job" underway.

South Carolina's governor plans to meet with top Department of Defense leaders to discuss the state's response to Florence.

He called federal emergency officials, the military and first responders "unbelievable".

Information for this article was contributed by Jonathan Drew, Gerry Broome, Gary Robertson, Alex Derosier and Jay Reeves of The Associated Press; and by John Wagner and Mark Berman of The Washington Post.

Lake Norman was not affected in a major way by Hurricane Florence.

The Cape Fear River crested at 61.5 feet (19 meters), four times its normal height, on Wednesday in Fayetteville, North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

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