Small North Carolina town latest to feel Florence's fury


Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday, but it's 90 miles per hour winds and 20-plus inches of rain have left damage and flooding throughout portions of eastern and central North Carolina.

Rising water from the Waccamaw River and smaller creeks have started to close bridges around Conway, backing up traffic to the few roads left open. Swollen rivers are gushing downstream toward flooded cities, putting more homes are at risk.

"We will likely have lost more chickens than anything else", Jimmy Dixon, a state representative and former turkey farmer, said after touring eastern parts of the state by helicopter Tuesday.

Global warming has increased the likelihood of more massive, sluggish storms like Florence, capable of dropping record amounts of rain and causing the type of catastrophic flooding that crippled North and SC this week, experts said.

North Carolina is the country's No. 2 swine-producing state, its leading producer of tobacco and a major poultry producer, making agriculture its principle industry, valued at $87 billion.

President Donald Trump made a stop in Conway on Wednesday as part of his tour of the Carolinas to see the damage that was caused by Hurricane Florence.

A sign commemorating the rebuilding of the town of Nichols, which was flooded two years earlier from Hurricane Matthew, stands in floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Nichols, S.C., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. McMaster asked Congressional leaders to hurry federal aid. "God bless you. We will never forget your loss", he said. "We know it's coming", he said.

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Florence County emergency management officials issued the order Friday morning for about 500 people along 58 roads and streets in the area.

At least 42 people have died, included an elderly man whose body was found in a pickup truck that had been submerged in SC, and hundreds were forced from their homes as rivers kept swelling higher.

Coal ash can contaminate water and harm fish and wildlife.

A week after the storm hit, thousands in SC are under new evacuation orders and some of the stranded in Mullins, had to be rescued by helicopter. That figure is less than 2,000 in SC.

North Carolina's hog and other concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, produce nearly 10 billion gallons of fecal waste a year, according to the Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper Alliance.

In South Carolina, two women died on Tuesday evening after a van taking the mental health patients from one facility to another was overtaken by rising floodwaters near the Little Pee Dee River, authorities said. Some of them have been washed out entirely.

He said his state now has 13 rivers at major flood stage, with 7,800 residents in shelters and almost 200,000 customers still without power. Some areas could stay underwater for weeks, forecasters warned.