Death toll rises to 43 in aftermath of Florence

Trump Fails Bare Minimum of Human Decency in Florence Responses
            
             
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Residents were warned the confluence of the Big Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee rivers - where they merge - could reach flood levels even greater than those seen during Hurricane Matthew.

Thus, the area still has two coal ash basins from the 1970s, and 7 million tons of coal ash is now at risk of flooding into the river.

Michael Regan is secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality.

As environmental worries mount, Duke Energy said a dam containing a large lake at Wilmington power plant had been breached by floodwaters from Florence, and it was possible that coal ash from an adjacent dump was flowing into the Cape Fear River.

Officials are also anxious about contamination and environmental hazards, including the potential effects of coal ash, an industrial waste created by coal-burning power plants that can carry health risks.

Gray muck has been seeing flowing into the Cape Fear River near the site. He said the DEQ is trying to ascertain how much, if any has entered the Neuse River. The program initially will be open to residents in nine counties, then will be expanded.

Speaking in Las Vegas, President Donald Trump said SC is in for a "tough one" as flood waters keep rising.

As North Carolinians begin picking up the pieces from Hurricane Florence, federal funds for those affected by the storm are already being dispersed.

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Thirty flood gauges in North and SC showed flooding on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

North Carolina authorities said 5,500 hogs and almost 3.5 million chickens were killed by the flooding, which could have damaged up to 57 million kilograms of tobacco worth as much as $350 million. He urged people to avoid driving east of Interstate 95 and south of US-70.

"As I've traveled around the state surveying damage and meeting with people who have lost everything, it's clear that the destruction in eastern North Carolina is historic", Cooper said in a Thursday statement obtained by the News & Observer of Raleigh. Emergency officials don't expect the water on those highways to recede fully for another week or more.

SC also has ordered more evacuations as rivers continue to rise in the aftermath of a storm that has claimed at least 43 lives since slamming into the coast more than a week ago.

Moody's Analytics said Monday the hurricane's cost is estimated between $17 billion to $22 billion. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward from the center up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the northwest.

Along the Cape Fear River, David and Benetta White and their four children were given short notice to evacuate overnight as floodwaters swept over their property.

Rescuers wearing night-vision googles used helicopters, boats and big-wheeled military vehicles overnight to evacuate about 100 people from a southeastern North Carolina county where high water breached a levee, flooding a town.

About 25 miles (40 kilometers) nearer to the SC coast, Kevin Tovornik was tearing soggy carpet out of the house he has owned for 20 years in Conway, where the Waccamaw River was still rising.

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