The death toll from Storm Florence has risen to 37 after officials confirmed the deaths of two SC mental health patients, officials say.
The flooding has caused 21 hog "lagoons", which store manure from pig farms, to overflow, creating a risk that standing water will be contaminated, according to the state's Department of Environmental Quality.
More than a dozen rivers across North Carolina were at major flood stage on Monday or threatening to rise to critical levels.
His disaster response operation under scrutiny, President Donald Trump pledged complete federal assistance Wednesday to areas of the Carolinas hit hard by floods after Hurricane Florence. The barrier island community of Emerald Isle started feeling the impacts of Florence more than a day before the hurricane made landfall, and a USA government water monitoring gauge ultimately recorded water levels over 6 feet (2 meters) above normal there.
In Cooper's state on Friday, environment concerns were raised after an energy utility spokesperson said that a dam containing a large lake at Wilmington power plant has been breached by floodwaters, with potential for coal ash from an adjacent dump to be loosed into the Cape Fear River. DOT approved the funds shortly after Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Transportation Secretary James Trogdon requested them. Officials are warning that the flooding may worsen still, as rivers throughout the region are bursting their banks.
The total death toll from Florence is now at 41 across the Carolinas and Virginia, officials said. But the state said in a Tweet late Wednesday: "No safe, stable and reliable route now exists for the public to get to and from Wilmington". The deputies transporting the two women reportedly drove around barriers and then were surprised by the flood.
"Got it?" Trump said as he handed two meals to a person in a auto, adding: "Have a good time".
A high water team eventually rescued the two deputies who were escorting them.
"We are sorry", Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson told reporters Wednesday.
· "Some of the hardest work is taking place right now, even though it's nice and attractive and sunny". The water has receded in some places but as it moves downstream, officials say, thousands of people could be in danger until next week.
At least 36 people have died as a result of the storm, according to CNN.
The most rainfall recorded in SC was in the town of Loris, where 23.81 inches (0.6 meters) fell.
Charlotte Hornets President Fred Whitfield discusses how his organization and National Basketball Association legend Michael Jordan are helping victims affected by Hurricane Florence.
Amtrak announced that it will resume passenger train service in and through North Carolina on Thursday.
"Life expectancy in North Carolina communities near hog CAFOs remains low, even after adjusting for socioeconomic factors that are known to affect people's health and lifespan", senior author H. Kim Lyerly said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a section of Interstate 95 was closed anew because bridges crossing the Great Pee Dee River flooded, said officials in SC.
"We are cautioning everyone not to be overconfident", City Administrator Adam Emrick said. "We are anxious about Friday". About 10,000 remain in shelters.
Some drivers in Conway have reported it has taken three hours or more to make it across the city of 23,000 people. "It's wearing on a lot of people here, trying to keep their sanity together".
These farmers will suffer the greatest impact because of timing.
"This sanctuary was built in 1909, and it never flooded until Hurricane Matthew", Benfield said. This boat just came here.
"It's all gone", Cavenaugh told WRAL.
As floodwaters from former-Hurricane Florence's massive rains continue to flow through the Carolinas, the end of the storm's damage is nowhere in sight.
McMaster on Thursday estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion USA, characterizing it in a letter to state congress members as the worst disaster in the state's modern history.