Sunday, 24 March, 2019


Florence death toll rises to 32 as floodwaters linger in North Carolina

U.S. Army personnel unload food and water from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for a community isolated by the effects of Hurricane Florence now downgraded to a tropical depression in Atkinson North Carolina on Sept. 18 Florence death toll rises to 32 as floodwaters linger in North Carolina
Kristine Garrett | 19 September, 2018, 18:12

Hurricane Florence has claimed 26 lives in North Carolina.

One person was killed in Virginia when the storm spawned about 16 tornadoes there on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials have identified the two mental health patients who drowned when a van they were riding in was swept away in SC flood waters.

Kenny Babb gathers items that floated out of his garage, seen in the background, as the Little River continues to rise in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Linden, N.C., TSept.

On Monday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned that "for many parts of North Carolina, the danger is still imminent".

President Donald Trump is scheduled to get an update on storm-damaged areas of North Carolina on Wednesday at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. He was criticized for his handling of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico a year ago, and more recently for disputing the official death toll of 3,000.

The water level of the Cape Fear River was expected to crest at 61.8 feet by Tuesday. That has disrupted efforts to restore power, clear roads and allow evacuated residents to go home.

In the town of Fair Bluff, North Carolina, which has struggled to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, only about 50 residents remained on Tuesday, Fair Bluff Police Chief Chris Chafin told Reuters.

With Wilmington still mostly an island surrounded by Hurricane Florence's floodwaters and people waiting for hours for handouts of necessities like food, North Carolina's governor is pleading with thousands of evacuees to be patient and not return home just yet.

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".

"The Company estimates that approximately 1.7 million head of broiler chickens out of an average live inventory of approximately 20 million head, ranging in age from six days to sixty-two days, were destroyed as a result of flooding", Sanderson Farms said in a statement this week.

Experts say people likely got complacent about Florence because of a scale that only categorizes hurricanes by wind strength.

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. Power outages in the Southeast also were down, from a high of more than 910,000 to about 310,000, almost all in North Carolina.

Officials previously had estimated that about 1.7 million chickens had drowned and that the number of potential hog deaths was unknown. Further flooding could push up that figure.

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