VA Struggles to Restore Services in Storm-Ravaged North Carolina

Mindy Sparks
September 18, 2018

The death toll from the storm rose to at least 34 in three states, with 26 fatalities in North Carolina, as Florence's remnants brought heavy downpours to the heavily populated Northeast, triggering flooding in New Hampshire and NY state.

Four days after Florence began unloading more than 2 feet of rain that paralyzed much of North Carolina, the sun was shining again in parts of the state.

Authorities have opened two routes into the city of Wilmington, North Carolina, which for a time was completely cut off by floodwaters.

An apparent tornado spawned by Florence's remnants over Richmond, Virginia, killed one person, AP noted.

Crews have conducted about 700 rescues in New Hanover County, where Wilmington is located.

At the news conference on Monday, he added, "We are expecting several more days of rain".

Flooded roads have also prevented some North Carolina farmers from accessing their fields and livestock to assess damage, said Andrea Ashby, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

At its peak strength, Florence was a Category 4 hurricane, but was downgraded to tropical depression status on Sunday.

"The worst is yet to come" as river levels rise to historic levels, said Zach Taylor, a meteorologist with the US National Weather Service.

Workers began handing out supplies Tuesday morning using a system that resembled a restaurant drive-thru: Drivers in long lines pulled up to pallets lining a street. Others got a case of bottled water or military ready-to-eat meals.

Officials said residents should not attempt to return to the counties along the state's coast around Wilmington yet due to ongoing risk of flooding.

The VA had readied mobile units to go to the region once the storm passed to provide services to stranded veterans, but it was unclear when they would actually start working in North Carolina.

"For many parts of North Carolina, the danger is still immediate", the state's governor, Roy Cooper, told reporters on Monday.

One road was opened into Wilmington at least briefly, and items have been brought into the city by big military trucks and helicopters. The entire city of Wilmington, North Carolina, has been described as "isolated" from the rest of the state.

More than 347,000 customers, mostly in the Carolinas, were without power on Tuesday morning, according to power companies, down from a peak of almost 1 million outages.

At least 32 people are dead, including several young children, as a result of the storm, which brought unprecedented rainfall and flooding to North and SC.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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