Travel snarled by flooding as Carolinas size up Florence's damage

Hurricane Florence Death Toll Reaches 32 as Threat of Toxic Coal Ash Release Looms

Florence death toll rises to 32 as floodwaters linger in North Carolina

Flooding and downed trees from Florence were blocking dozens of roads in and around Wilmington on Monday, leaving the coastal city largely cut off from the rest of the state, according to a story from The News & Observer of Raleigh.

The rain finally stopped and the sun peeked through, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned that dangerously high water would persist for days.

A White House spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Trump would travel to North Carolina, where he will be joined by U.S. Rep. David Rouzer, whose district includes numerous areas hit hardest by Hurricane Florence, including Wilmington.

Trump, who has been criticized for his response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year, plans to arrive at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina, at about 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) and return to Washington at 6:15 p.m. (2215 GMT), according to the White House.

"It's truly devastating for me to see the damage that Hurricane Florence is doing to my beloved home state of North Carolina and to the surrounding areas", Jordan, who is the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association, said last week in a statement posted on the team's website announcing its charity work.

North Carolina is a top U.S. producer of poultry, hogs and tobacco, and agriculture contributes $87 billion to the state's economy, making it its No. 1 industry.

Property damage from the storm is expected to range from $17 billion to $22 billion, the risk management firm Moody's Analytics said.

President Donald Trump is expected to travel to the region on Wednesday, CNN and local news media reported.

The governor said 16 rivers statewide were at major flood stage and more than 1,100 roads were closed. Fire and rescue crews were waiting to go into many areas to assist with structural damage after Florence dumped up to 36 inches (91 cm) of rain in parts of North Carolina since Thursday. "What's open now may become impassable".

Russell Maloy walks over a rail track bridge near his home to check the level of the Cape Fear River which has been rising in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Thousands of rescues have taken place in the Carolinas, and more than 650 people were taken to safety in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, said Barbi Baker, a spokeswoman for New Hanover County. City officials warned still-rising water threatened some neighborhoods and businesses that seemed safe, but said the worst was almost over and life was beginning to return to normal downtown.

North Carolina's Emergency Management department has opened four mass feeding kitchens and has plans to open four more shortly.

"It is ridiculous that we don't have enough fuel supplies back in this area", Stephanie Schauer, 39, a contractor, said as she waited her turn at the gas pump. Rivers swollen by days of rain still threaten communities barely touched by the storm.

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