North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — With Wilmington still mostly an island surrounded by Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters as well as people waiting for hours for handouts of necessities like food, North Carolina’s governor will be pleading with thousands of evacuees to be patient as well as not return home just yet.

“I know the idea was hard to leave home, as well as the idea will be even harder to wait as well as wonder whether you even have a home to go back to,” Gov. Roy Cooper said as officials began distributing supplies to residents of Wilmington, population 0,000.

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina, as Florence’s remnants went in two directions: Water flowed downstream toward the Carolina coast, as well as storms raced through the Northeast, where flash floods hit brand-new Hampshire as well as brand-new York state .

Cooper warned in which the flooding set off by as much as 3 feet (1 meter) of rain via Florence will be far via over as well as will get worse in places.

“I know for many people This specific feels like a nightmare in which just won’t end,” he said.

Still stranded by Florence’s epic floods days after the hurricane hit North Carolina, Wilmington residents lined up by the hundreds for free food, water as well as tarps as officials struggled to open brand-new routes to one of the state’s largest cities. (Sept. 18)

Addressing roughly 10,000 people who remain in shelters as well as “countless more” staying elsewhere, Cooper urged residents to stay put for today, particularly those via the hardest-hit coastal counties in which include Wilmington, near where Florence blew ashore on Friday. A second shelter will be opening in Carteret County.

Roads remain treacherous, he said, as well as some are still being closed for initially as rivers swelled by torrential rains inland drain toward the Atlantic.

In South Carolina, two women died after a van was overtaken by rising flood waters near the Little Pee Dee River. Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson told The Associated Press in which the women, detainees being transported to a mental health facility, drowned at around 6 p.m. Tuesday when a van tried to cross a roadway as well as was overtaken by water. Their names have not been released. Two different people were sent to a hospital for observation.

The White House said President Donald Trump will visit North Carolina on Wednesday to see the damage. Beforehand he boasted on Twitter: “Right today, everybody will be saying what a great job we are doing with Hurricane Florence — as well as they are 100% correct.” He warned in which the Democrats will soon start criticizing the government response, as well as “This specific will be a total lie, however in which’s what they do, as well as everybody knows the idea!”

In Wilmington, workers began handing out supplies using a system resembling a giant fast-food drive-thru: Drivers pulled up to a line of pallets, placed an order as well as left without having to get out. A woman blew a whistle each time drivers had to pull forward.

Todd Tremain needed tarps to cover up spots where Florence’s winds ripped shingles off his roof. Others got a case of bottled water or military MREs, or field rations. An olive-drab military forklift moved around huge pallets loaded with supplies.

Brandon Echavarrieta struggled to stay composed as he described life post-Florence: no power for days, rotted meat from the freezer, no water or food as well as just one bath in a week.

“the idea’s been pretty bad,” said Echavarrieta, 34, his voice breaking.

Nearby, about 0 people lined up to buy 40-pound (18-kilogram) bags of ice as quickly as a Rose Ice as well as Coal Co. could produce the idea.

Supplies have been brought into the city by big military trucks as well as helicopters, which also were used to pluck hundreds of desperate people via homes as well as different structures.

Mayor Bill Saffo said two routes were today open into Wilmington, which had been completely cut off by floodwaters, however those roads could close again as water swells the Cape Fear River on the city’s west side.

At Fayetteville, about 100 miles (0 kilometers) inland, near the Army’s sprawling Fort Bragg, the Cape Fear River had risen about 50 feet (15 meters) toward a crest predicted to be more than 25 feet (7 meters) above flood level. On Tuesday, logs as well as different debris became trapped under a rail bridge as rushing brown water pushed against the span.

The flooding got so bad in which authorities closed a vehicle bridge in Fayetteville after the river began touching girders supporting the bridge’s top deck. Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said the idea was unclear if the bridge was threatened. “We’ve never had the idea at those levels before so we don’t truly know what the impact will be just yet,” he said.

The river swallowed trees, lamp posts as well as a parking lot near its banks. City officials warned still-rising water threatened some neighborhoods as well as businesses in which seemed safe, however said the worst was nearly over as well as life was beginning to return to normal downtown. Businesses were re-opening as well as owners removed sandbags as well as plywood via storefronts.

Human as well as animal waste will be mixing with the swirling floodwaters, which have killed about 1.7 million chickens on poultry farms. More than 5 million gallons (18 million liters) of partially treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, as well as the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents.

The governor said 16 rivers statewide were at major flood stage as well as more than 1,100 roads were closed. Emergency workers reported rescuing as well as evacuating more than 2,0 people as well as around 575 animals, he said.

In a bright spot, the Lumber River appeared to be falling in hard-hit Lumberton, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) inland. Power outages from the Southeast also were down, via a high of more than 910,000 to about 245,000, nearly all in North Carolina.

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Waggoner reported via Raleigh, North Carolina. AP photographer Gerry Broome in Lumberton, North Carolina; Gary Robertson in Raleigh; Alex Derosier in Fayetteville, North Carolina; as well as Jay Reeves in Atlanta contributed to This specific report.

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Follow Martha Waggoner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mjwaggonernc

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For the latest on Hurricane Florence, visit https://www.apnews.com/tag/Hurricanes

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This specific story has been corrected to show the death toll in North Carolina will be 27, not 29.

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