Monday, 22 October, 2018

Trump to visit North Carolina as waterways rise after Florence

A flooded farm stands next to the Lumber River on Monday in this aerial Florence has moved on, but N.C. is still dealing with its devastating impacts
Sandy Nunez | 23 September, 2018, 14:40

More than 53,600 US homes and businesses, mostly in North Carolina and SC, were still without power on Wednesday, after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast last week, power companies said.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said 16 rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday with three more expected to peak by Thursday.

He said he knows for many North Carolinians it feels like "a nightmare that just won't end". More than 60 percent of homes and businesses were without power, and crews have completed about 700 rescues in the county where Wilmington is located.

National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Legro says he received reports Tuesday morning of boats being used to rescue people from rising water in Derry, New Hampshire.

Wilmington is still virtually cut off from the rest of the state, but officials say they'll open routes as soon as flooding recedes and downed trees and powerlines are cleared away.

Florence has killed at least 33 people since coming ashore as a hurricane on Friday, including 26 in North Carolina and six in SC. "Whatever you need from Washington, we are there", Trump told state and local officials at a briefing.

As NPR reported before the storm, the waste is usually kept in large open ponds.

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The EPA has also said that once conditions allow, it plans are to deploy "reconnaissance teams" to inspect Superfund hazardous-waste sites in the Carolinas and Georgia. "This region of North Carolina is still recovering from Hurricane Matthew in 2016".

Conway's city administrator told the AP that the South Carolina Department of Transportation told city officials that the damming effect of the barrier would be negligible, and that if the river crests as high as is expected, almost 1,000 homes will be flooded either way.

The North Carolina Pork Council said one hog lagoon - which houses waste from the animals - breached in Duplin County.

Rivers and waterways, swollen after Florence's historic deluge, rose dangerously across the Carolinas, closing roads, inundating communities, hindering rescue and fix efforts and preventing evacuees from returning home. Four other lagoons suffered structural damage from floodwaters, the agency said.

"This is a tough hurricane - one of the wettest we've ever seen, from the standpoint of water", Trump said in a video tweeted out Wednesday.

The risk management firm Moody's Analytics said damage from Florence in North Carolina could be as high as $22 billion.