Hurricane Florence death toll climbs to 37; Donald Trump visits stricken area

Mindy Sparks
September 20, 2018

More than 18 million litres of partially treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, and the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents.

The president's motorcade passed through local streets in New Bern as Eastern Carolina residents lined the streets to welcome President Trump. "And, of course, people have lost their homes".

During the trip, Trump also visited a church that was distributing meals to the city's residents.

Kenny Babb retrieves a paddle that floated away on his flooded property as the Little River continues to rise in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Linden, N.C.

Fire and rescue crews were waiting to go into many areas to assist with structural damage resulting from Florence, which dumped up to 36 inches (91 cm) of rain in parts of North Carolina.

Cars sit abandoned on a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Lillington, N.C. "We want to keep it going that way".

After a briefing on the recovery effort in North Carolina, Trump helped hand out hot dogs and chips at a Baptist church in New Bern, a riverfront city that experienced severe flooding. "Whatever you need from Washington, we are there", Trump told an official briefing in Conway, South Carolina.

The town has largely been cut off by flooding from the still-rising Lumber river, which was expected to crest on Wednesday. "This is real emergency stuff at the highest level".

Two days before his visit, Trump signed a disaster declaration that unlocked federal aid to the state. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), several state senators, and Gov. Henry McMaster.

McMaster joked that if someone were looking for water or rain, "you've come to the right place". "There will be nothing left undone". "So our problem has not been with the wind and the rain hitting us, but with the rain that is still here". Officials say the van was traveling near the Little Pee Dee River, one of the bodies of water officials in SC are watching closely as water continues to poor into the state from upriver in North Carolina following the heavy rains of Florence. "Those watersheds all coming to where we are".

Telling a storm victim to "have a good time" could be dismissed as Trump misspeaking as he exhausted his limited repertoire of empathic statements, but incredibly, he's made the flub before.

Observers were quick to note one possible explanation for the president's interest in the area: a Trump National Golf Club is located on the shores of Lake Norman.

Both states have received significant federal assistance.

Brigadier General Diana Holland is with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

According to the White House, nearly 20,000 federal employees were deployed to states affected by Hurricane Florence.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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