Thursday, 18 October, 2018

President Trump surveys damage left behind by Hurricane Florence

ASSOCIATED PRESS           Chicken farm buildings are inundated with floodwater from Hurricane Florence near Trenton N.C ASSOCIATED PRESS Chicken farm buildings are inundated with floodwater from Hurricane Florence near Trenton N.C
Eleanor Moreno | 19 September, 2018, 20:37

President Donald Trump arrived Wednesday in North Carolina to see the destruction Hurricane Florence left behind and the challenging relief efforts that are underway.

The governor said 16 rivers statewide were at major flood stage and more than 1,100 roads were closed.

He's passing out Styrofoam containers with food, including hot dogs, chips and fruit and asking how those driving through are doing. He frequently asked "how's the house?" as vehicles passed, and shook hands through auto windows.

Horry County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Brooke Holden says a sheriff's office van was carrying two detainees and two deputies from Conway to Darlington on Tuesday night when it was overtaken by flood waters.

Trump is also applauding organizers and thanking volunteers at the site as well as posing for photos and hugging volunteers, including a young boy.

"N.C. DOT advises motorists not to travel through these parts of the state", a notice on that agency's internet site said about noon Tuesday.

In New Bern, the reception to Trump's visit has been largely positive, according to NPR's Brian Mann. It was dry outside, but the president was surrounded by obvious signs of water damage, such as piles of broken furniture and debris lining the sides of the road and boats that are shipwrecked a couple hundred feet inland.

Detours have been established, some of which are taking drivers 100-plus miles out of the way to avoid the flooding, say state officials.


Trump stressed his sympathy for the victims of the storm and pledged resources for recovery during an earlier storm briefing at a nearby marine base.

U.S. Army personnel unload food and water from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for a community isolated by the effects of Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical depression, in Atkinson, North Carolina, on September 18.

A Philippine police officer says residents of a mining camp in a mountain village refused to leave ahead of the powerful typhoon, believing their chapel and nearby bunkhouses were on stable ground. At the time, it seemed to reflect Trump's brand of playfulness.

Trump praised first responders and offered comfort to residents who suffered losses in the storm, saying: "To the families who have lost loved ones, America grieves with you, and our hearts break for you".

The president is also expected to visit flooded areas near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, though that event is not on the public schedule.

Residents hit hard by the storm will be looking to the federal government for help recovering and rebuilding.

"If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that'll be very interesting", the president said, adding that he "really would want to see what she has to say".

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