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

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

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Eager to show heart in a moment of crisis, President Donald Trump handed out hot dogs, hugs and comforting words in the Carolinas on Wednesday as he surveyed the wreckage left by Hurricane Florence.

In North Carolina, where thousands of people remain in shelters or are staying elsewhere, Cooper has urged patience, noting that roads remain treacherous and some are still being closed for the first time. In South Carolina, they won't be able to assess the total damage for days.

He's known for saying some questionable things but you would think Donald Trump would bite his tongue when it comes to visiting Hurricane victims.

"This is ridiculous. This is the worst I've ever seen", Tovornik said. The slow-moving storm, which made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane, has since been downgraded to a tropical depression and moved into the us northeast.

The death toll from the storm rose to at least 37 people in three different states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

The two patients died on Tuesday after the vehicle carrying them, staffed by two Horry County deputies in SC, was swept away by flooding from Florence, the Horry County Sheriff's Office confirmed, Xinhua reported.

The crisis is slowly moving to SC, where there was enough warning and certainty about where the water was going that hundreds of people loaded furniture from their homes into trucks and flatbeds to take to higher ground.

Also Thursday, FEMA said it will speed up the process for storm victims to receive advanced payments on their flood insurance claims.

At Fayetteville, about 160 kilometres inland, near the Army's sprawling Fort Bragg, flooding from Cape Fear River got so bad that authorities closed a vehicle bridge after the water began touching girders supporting the span's top deck. The city of 200,000 is near the Fort Bragg Army base in the southern part of the state.

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At an afternoon news media briefing in Newport, Cooper and administration officials reassured residents that help was on the way, even as flood damage continues. "Stay alert, and stay safe".

More roads into and out of Wilmington were opened after the port city was cut off from all land access in the wake of the hurricane's landfall Saturday.

President Donald Trump has arrived in storm-ravaged North Carolina to take in the devastation left by Florence.

Environmental damage was also mounting as human and animal waste was swept up in roiling floodwaters.

Flooding had raised concerns that discharges from a power plant's cooling lake in Wilmington might contaminate water downstream. North Carolina is one of the leading hog-producing states in the country.

Remnants of the once-mighty storm brought heavy rains northwest up the Ohio Valley, prompting flood watches and warnings from Texas to Virginia and Maryland, at least through Monday, the weather service said.

It was the same message at Trump's first stop in North Carolina, where Gov. Roy Cooper and federal and state officials briefed the president at a Marine Corps air station in Havelock, which sits among areas Florence hit hardest.

He visited a church in New Bern, a town of 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers that was hit especially hard by flooding, and joined volunteers in passing out boxed meals to people in a drive-through line.

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

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