President Trump tours Florence destruction in North Carolina

Cesar Mills
September 20, 2018

The Cape Fear river was expected to crest at 61.5ft (19 meters), four times its normal height, on Wednesday in Fayetteville, a city of 200,000 near the Fort Bragg army base in the southern part of the state, according to the National Weather Service. The latest victims were two women in SC who drowned on Tuesday when a sheriff's department van in which they were riding was swept away by flooding. The deputies transporting the two women reportedly drove around barriers and then were surprised by the flood.

Horry County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Brooke Holden said two deputies in the van tried to get the women out but couldn't.

Florence is blamed for at least 37 deaths. A section of Interstate 95 in SC has been closed because of flooding. "Amazing. Just days before this #ConwaySC neighborhood was completely underwater - now floodwaters from #Florence have receded and the road is back open again".

The agency said 13 are overflowing from heavy rainfall and 55 are close to the brim and could overflow if water levels continue rising.

More than 5 million gallons of partially treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, and the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents.

President Trump traveled to North Carolina to assess the damage.

North Carolina is one of the leading USA hog-producing states and the floodwaters have caused 21 hog "lagoons", which store waste from pig farms, to overflow, creating a risk of standing water contaminated with bacteria like salmonella, according to the state's Department of Environmental Quality. North Carolina is the nation's top producer of tobacco. The state ranks No. 1 in poultry and egg cash receipts, and second in swine.

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In addition, about 30 Sanderson farms that together house more than 6 million chickens around hard-hit Lumberton, North Carolina, remain isolated by floodwater and out of reach of feed trucks, Sanderson said, noting that the number of dead chickens could increase. "One of the most powerful and devastating storms ever to hit our country".

"People don't realize how a very hard phase is beginning today, with the attractive sunshine", he added. "God bless you", he said.

As Fox News reported, Trump greeted people and handed out lunches at the relief center.

Much of Columbus County, where Fair Bluff is located, was under water, according to Steve Abbott of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, with most roads closed and "driving not advised".

Experts have said that climate change has increased the likelihood of more massive, sluggish storms like Florence, capable of dropping record amounts of rain and touching off catastrophic flooding.

To the south, daybreak brought a return of floodwaters to Nichols, S.C., which also was inundated by Hurricane Matthew two years ago.

Trump walked along a street strewn with piles of trash, branches and sodden furniture in storm-wrecked New Bern, offering hugs and handshakes and posing for photos outside of damaged houses.

Other reports by GizPress

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