Donald Trump heads to Carolinas to look at Hurricane Florence damage

Cesar Mills
September 24, 2018

USA officials are about to begin distributing food, water and other supplies to the city of Wilmington, North Carolina, which remains mostly cut off by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence.

Michael Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, close to where Florence came ashore as a Category 1 hurricane, has donated $2 million to relief and recovery agencies. Trump said, without offering evidence, that Democrats had inflated the figure to make him look bad.

Although the storm is long gone, river flooding still poses a danger to the area. Two of the SC victims were mental health patients who drowned on Tuesday when a van carrying them was swept away by floodwater.

Jordan is donating $1 million each to the American Red Cross and Foundation For The Carolinas' Hurricane Florence Response Fund.

Floodwaters have disrupted efforts to restore power, clear roads and allow evacuated residents to go home.

"While there are more than 3,000 active lagoons in the state that have been unaffected by the storm, we remain concerned about the potential impact of these record-shattering floods", said Andy Curliss, chief executive of the North Carolina Pork Council.

At Fayetteville, about 161 kilometres inland, near the army's sprawling Fort Bragg, the Cape Fear River had risen about 15 meters toward a crest that was predicted to be more than seven metres above flood level. Cooper warned residents of some coastal towns - including Wilmington, which was completely cut off from the outside world by flooding - to resist the temptation to return to their homes. Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday. "Stay alert, and stay safe".

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A wall of concrete barriers and plastic sheets is being built along U.S. Highway 501 to save the main road into Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from going underwater.

The risk of environmental damage mounted, as human and animal waste was washed into the swirling floodwaters.

The flooding from Florence has also caused 21 hog "lagoons", which store manure from pig farms, to overflow in North Carolina, possibly contaminating standing water, according to the state's Department of Environmental Quality.

Florence is now a large low-pressure system and rainstorm moving across New England and into the Canadian Maritime provinces, but not before making itself felt in the mid-Atlantic with soaking rains and flash floods. North Carolina is one of the leading hog-producing states in the country.

The president is scheduled to depart the White House en route to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina.

News correspondent Gadi Schwartz captured a video of a fire ants forming colonies in North Carolina's flooded streets, sharing the video on Twitter. The dump is adjacent to the Waccamaw River, which is expected to crest at almost 20 feet (6 meters) this weekend.

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