Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Trump pledges '100%' support during post-Florence visit to North Carolina

Trump pledges '100%' support during post-Florence visit to North Carolina

"You'll have everything you need".

The NBA legend donated $2 million to relief efforts in the region after Hurricane Florence battered the North Carolina coast.

He was accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long, Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of SC.

At his first stop in Cherry Point, North Carolina, Trump participated in a hurricane briefing, where he praised all agencies involved in recovery efforts, calling Florence the most powerful hurricane to hit the Carolinas. Much of Lumberton, where the Lumber river flooded mostly lower-income housing, was still inaccessible. Some 10,000 people remained in shelters. "We're ready and they are ready to do whatever we have to do to make this flawless, and unfortunately that means the money will be a lot, but it will come as fast as you need, but to take care of everybody".

Goldsboro was also still flooded. Homes, farms and businesses along Route 117, which runs north through this part of the state, stood in 2ft of water on Tuesday, while stretches of the route were closed due to flooding.

And the effects from the slow-moving storm were still being felt Tuesday as record inland river flooding was impacting areas such as Pollocksville in Jones County, where US 17 was impassable.

Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson tells The Associated Press that 45-year-old Windy Wenton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green were being transported by a Horry County Sheriff's Office van between Nichols and Mullins on Tuesday night when the van was swept away by rising waters.

Kinston Police in North Carolina also posted a video on Facebook showing clumps of fire ants in flood waters, warning residents to stay safe.

"That thing is a total loss", Billy Sanderson told CNN affiliate WNCT, his voice breaking. At least one of those deaths was in Lenoir County, and a mother and infant were killed in the Wilmington area.

CONWAY, SC - SEPTEMBER 17: Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence surround two homes on September 17, 2018, in Conway, South Carolina.

Thousands of rescues have taken place in the Carolinas.

Still, the whirlwind tour through the Carolinas showed Trump reaching out to connect with those reeling from a storm blamed for at least 37 deaths in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia since coming ashore Friday.

"Our town is devastated".

The town has largely been cut off by flooding from the still-rising Lumber river, which was expected to crest on Wednesday.

Experts say people likely got complacent about Florence because of a scale that only categorizes hurricanes by wind strength.

"We are cautioning everyone not to be overconfident", City Administrator Adam Emrick said.

"It is compelling and sobering to see these storms come in back-to-back seasons", said Jim Kossin, an atmospheric research scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Richardson says the patients' bodies were being recovered Wednesday morning.

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