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


The deadly 2017 hurricane season afforded Trump several opportunities to travel to storm-torn swaths of the country and address grieving citizens - instead, critics said, he largely kept attention focused on himself.

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

More than 15,000 people remain in shelters and more than 200,000 customers are without power across North Carolina because of Florence, according to state officials.

Whether Trump was joking or simply pointing out a bit of silver lining, the interaction prompted some to question the president's empathy for the many Carolinians whose homes and possessions were destroyed in Florence - the latest in a string of his responses to natural disasters to be criticized. Much of Lumberton, where the Lumber river flooded mostly lower-income housing, was still inaccessible.

For the people who spread the videos, the idea is to undermine reporters covering the story, to depict them as people more interested in seeking attention than in keeping viewers informed about what's going on.

Florence has claimed eight lives in SC thus far, and flooding is expected to worsen later this week and into next. For example, in 1999, rain and flooding from Hurricane Floyd caused waste to enter rivers- and what followed were algal blooms and mass fish die-outs. More water vapor means more rain, especially when the storm is a crawler like Florence, which slowed to about 2 miles per hour (1.6 km per hour) after slamming into the North Carolina coast.

In a video released by the White House Tuesday night, Trump expressed condolences and thanked first responders for their efforts to save lives, while describing Florence as a particularly hard storm.

The city manager told CNN that 12,000 people are "in harm's way".

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Lisa Shackleford hugs her pet dogs Izzy and Bella as she wades through flood waters to safety while the Northeast Cape Fear River breaks its banks in the aftermath Hurricane Florence in Burgaw, North Carolina, Sept. 17, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned SC on Wednesday "water is coming your way" from more floods as the death toll from Hurricane Florence rose to at least 36 after a sheriff's van was swept away killing 2 women.

Thousands of rescues have taken place in the Carolinas.

Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday.

In the town of Fair Bluff, North Carolina, which has struggled to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, only about 50 residents remained on Tuesday, the Fair Bluff police chief, Chris Chafin told Reuters.

Kenny Babb retrieves a paddle that floated away on his flooded property as the Little River continues to rise in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Linden, N.C. He contributed $1 million each to the American Red Cross and Foundation For The Carolinas' Hurricane Florence Response Fund.

"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.

The President said the federal government would do everything necessary to ensure recovery.