Storm-ravaged Carolinas brace for even more flooding

Jan Cross
September 21, 2018

The deaths, which have occurred in three states, include those of two women who were being taken to a mental health facility when the van they were riding in was engulfed by floodwaters from the Little Pee Dee River in SC, authorities said.

Trump spoke Wednesday at an emergency management center in the city of Conway, near Myrtle Beach.

North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Keith Acree says four additional deaths were reported Thursday to the state and occurred in Duplin County. He tells SC "all that water is coming your way".

"Now it looks nice, but it's really the calm before the storm", Trump said.

The deputies have been placed on administrative leave while the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division digs further into what happened. The other deaths occurred in SC and Virginia. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and other officials.

Florence dumped up to 36 inches (91 cm) of rain in parts of North Carolina, and many areas remained cut off by floodwaters and inundated roads.

From various federal agencies, McMaster is seeking $540 million for disaster recovery aid, $18 million from the Federal Highway Administration, $300 million from a disaster relief fund, $125 million to aid farmers, $80 million from the Small Business Administration and $165 million from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Trump has also vowed to help the Carolinas, saying he would 'send a lot of money to the area'. He was accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FEMA chief Brock Long, North Carolina Sens.

Trump departed 1:15 p.m. on one of two presidential helicopters for SC, along with three Marine helicopters which included the traveling press pools.

The tropical cyclone killed at least 40 people, and caused an estimated $17billion of damage.

Tens of thousands were ordered to evacuate communities along North Carolina's steadily rising rivers.

Through tears, she said she has survived hurricanes Floyd in 1999 and Matthew in 2016 but "this has been the absolute worst one".

"How's the house?" he asked one person.

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New Bern's residential streets are lined by debris, including siding and furniture, with sofa cushions and mattresses scattered about.

When Trump crossed North Craven, amid high piles of limbs, tree and brush, A press rush forced several members past the curb and into the debris.

New Bern is part of Craven County, which voted almost 60 percent for Trump in 2016. When no one answered, they turned their attention to their white house with dark shutters - partially submerged in the water in front of them.

Trump is also applauding organizers and thanking volunteers at the site as well as posing for photos and hugging volunteers, including a young boy.

There has been a tremendous outpouring of people along the roadways USA 70 and the streets of New Bern with what appeared to be entire families waving at the motorcade, press buses and escorting police and federal lawman.

Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, said its plants also suffered no significant damage and are operating at limited capacity. The region is now dealing with massing flooding in the wake of Florence's path.

Water appears to have receded in some areas of the Carolinas, but more flooding from Hurricane Florence could arrive through the weekend, officials say.

"We will be there 100 percent", said Trump, wearing a wind breaker and khaki trousers, seated inside a hangar with federal and state officials.

He added: 'We need it, and we have it, and we will be applying it, and there will be nothing left undone'. At the time, it seemed to reflect Trump's brand of playfulness.

"America grieves with you and our hearts break for you".

As part of the president's trip today, he will visit Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, where NPR reports he will meet with officials in a roundtable briefing.

Trump told reporters as he departed the White House that he will also visit SC before he returns to the White House later Wednesday.

Baker said he and others cleaned out stormwater drains and had sandbags on hand if needed.

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