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President Trump visits the Carolinas after Florence

Boy asks Trump for hug

What we covered here

  • Trump’s visit: President Trump visited the flood-ravaged Carolinas to assess the federal response to Hurricane Florence. Scroll down for highlights.
  • Florence’s wrath: The hurricane battered the Carolinas over the weekend after it made landfall Friday, causing widespread flooding. And it’s not over yet: Many cities and towns will remain under flood threats into next week.
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Trump leaves South Carolina after a day touring hurricane-damaged areas

After a day-long tour of the areas in the Carolinas hit by Hurricane Florence, President Trump has boarded Air Force One and is heading back to the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

He is expected to return to the White House Wednesday evening.

Trump to South Carolina: I'm with you

At a briefing in Conway, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster thanked President Trump for coming, and warned that the danger was not yet over.

“We have not had a disaster like this before,” McMaster said. “The rain and the water that you see out there now is just the beginning. The worst is yet to come.”

President Trump also warned that the flooding would likely continue, noting that “you’ve broken all records – this is going to add 4, 5, 6 feet of water all over the state.”

The President praised the “absolutely incredible” response efforts and coordination, and promised his support in the “exciting” rebuilding process.

Trump tours Conway, SC, and tells people there they'll be okay

President Trump was greeted by South Carolina governor Henry McMaster as he arrived in the South Carolina city of Conway, where he will survey the damage left by Hurricane Florence.

Trump walked up to a crowd of people, greeting them and saying, ‘You’re gonna be all right.’ Many of them thanked him for coming.

Conway City Administrator Adam Emrick told CNN that the danger had not yet passed, and that floodwaters could rise again as early as Friday. 

“We are cautioning everyone not to be over confident. The water is going to come back up,” Emrick said.

Earlier today, President Trump helped distribute food and meet residents in New Bern, North Carolina. He is expected to return to the White House Wednesday evening.

Trump met residents, handed out food in North Carolina church

After receiving a hurricane briefing in North Carolina, President Trump visited the Temple Baptist Church, which is doubling as a distribution center in the coastal city of New Bern.

“How’s the house?” President Trump asked as he handed out meals to those in need.

One boy, who wore a hat that read, “Tucker,” asked for a hug, and the President happily obliged.

Trump lands in South Carolina

President Trump just landed at Conway-Horry County airport in Conway, South Carolina, for the second half of his tour of the damage left by Hurricane Florence.

The White House hasn’t released where he’s headed now, so stay tuned.

North Carolina governor: Our state is hurting

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state is still working to recover, and officials continue to work on getting people safe and reopening roads. 

“We are a state that is hurting,” Cooper said on Wednesday. 

He added that people are “stunned at the breadth of damage that has been done.” 

By the numbers, Cooper said: 

  • North Carolina has 13 rivers at major flood stage.
  • About 7,800 people are in shelters. 
  • Close to 200,000 customers are still without power

The waters are receding in South Carolina, but they could come back later this week

People use a road as a boat ramp on Monday in Conway, South Carolina.

Adam Emrick, the city administrator of Conway, South Carolina, said floodwaters in the city are subsiding — but they could come back.

Emrick said the water has gone down so much that some residents who had to be rescued from flooding were able to briefly return home. But it may be a short reprieve

“The water is subsiding right now to the point where they have been able to go back in and collect their belongings, what’s left, before the waters start to rise again. We are worried about Friday,” he said

There have been no reports of injuries during the flooding, but officials have not yet been able to assess damage.

Water in this South Carolina city could crest next week

Homes are surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence on Monday in Conway, South Carolina.

Water in Conway, South Carolina, won’t reach its highest levels until next week, officials said.

“We are hearing that the water may not crest until Tuesday or Wednesday. It won’t reach the highest model until next week,” spokesperson for the city of Conway Taylor Newell said.

“We had some flash floods. The water is now receding from those flash floods, but we expect more flooding in the next few days,” Newell added.

The city is preparing for flooding worse than it saw in 2016, when Hurricane Matthew hit.

“The flooding is expected to be four feet higher than Matthew was in Conway,” Newell said “There are areas that weren’t impacted during Matthew that will be impacted this time around.”  

Up next: Trump heads to a North Carolina church

President Trump just arrived at a Baptist church in New Bern, North Carolina, where he was greeted by the local pastor.

Trump is expected to tour areas where relief centers are staged.

The President’s motorcade arrived in New Bern after rolling along North Carolina 70 East. They passed by spectators, peppered down the route, who watched and took photos as they drove by.  

Some shops appeared to be open, but several trees were downed. The nearby Neuse River appeared to be still higher than normal. 

Trump says hurricane clean up will be expensive

President Trump lauded emergency workers in North Carolina during a visit to the storm-impacted region on Wednesday as he predicted a costly clean up.

“Unfortunately, the money will be a lot but it’s going to come,” he said later, vowing a robust federal response to the storm.

He told those who lost loved ones the country was in mourning.

 “America grieves with you and our hearts break for you. God bless you. We will never forget your loss,” Trump said. “To all those impacted by this terrible storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help. You will recover.”

FEMA: Florence's effects aren't over yet

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said that although the rain has stopped in the Carolina’s, the devastation isn’t over.

Here are some of the things FEMA is still working on:

  • Officials need to get roads open so power crews can get into the isolated areas and flooded areas.
  • FEMA is putting a big focus on the hazardous materials, Long said.
  • FEMA is helping survivors get disaster assistance. Teams are in the field and in shelters to help.

North Carolina governor to Trump: Our state took a gut punch, Mr. President

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, sitting next to President Trump in Cherry Point, North Carolina, told him the state “took a gut punch.”

“Our people are still reeling. We have lost 27 lives officially so far, and more are under investigation. We mourn their loss,” he said, adding that farmers lost crops, businesses are shuttered, people lost homes.

“We have weathered storms before in our state. Mr. President, we have never seen one like this. This one has been epic. It has been disastrous. And it has been widespread,” he said.

Appealing to Trump, Cooper said, “Mr. President, we have a long road ahead. And the days and the months and even years ahead to make sure we build back to where we need to be here in North Carolina.”

“And, you’re here, and I’m asking you, sir, for your help every step of the way.”

Trump speaks in North Carolina on tour of Florence's destruction

President Trump is speaking at Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he is due to receive a hurricane briefing.

“Hurricane Florence was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the Carolinas, one of the most powerful and devastating storms ever to hit our country,” he said.

“To the families who have lost loved ones, America grieves with you and our hearts break for you. God bless you. We will never forget your loss. We will never leave your side. We are with you all the way,” he added. “To all of those impacted by this terrible storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help you will recover.”

Watch live in the video player above.

The rain has stopped in the Carolinas, but some rivers are still rising

People look on at the the Cape Fear river as it crests from the rains caused by Hurricane Florence.

President Trump will arrive in North Carolina today to blue skies, but what remains a very dangerous situation.

Much of the eastern half of both North and South Carolinas are still dealing with the record amount of water left by Florence.

Some rivers in North Carolina have set record new heights and look to be near their peak.

For example, the Cape Fear River near Chinquapin has risen to about 27 feet, according to the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert network. That’s nearly four feet above its previous record.

It will take the rest of the week for most these rivers to even remotely get back to normal.

And it’s not over: Some rivers, like the Waccamaw near Conway, South Carolina, aren’t even forecast to peak until later this weekend. The forecast is for it to rise a couple of feet above the rivers previous crest record, at 19.5 ft.

But there is some good news: For the next several days, the rain will be held at bay. Giving time for things to subside and dry out. By this weekend and into next week the chance of rain is likely to return. But thankfully not the rain we saw during Florence.

President Trump is traveling to North Carolina today

President Trump travels to flood-ravaged North Carolina today to assess the federal response to Hurricane Florence, which drenched the state last week.

Precise details of the President’s trip were being closely held ahead of his morning departure from the White House, but he is expected to receive briefings and view damage during his stay.

He is due to arrive mid-morning at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, situated along the bloated Neuse River.

First lady Melania Trump will not be traveling with the President today. Her spokeswoman said she had a scheduling conflict.


Trump to visit Carolinas on Wednesday
Pig poop and coal ash a real concern for people in North Carolina floods
These are the staggering numbers behind Florence's wrath


Trump to visit Carolinas on Wednesday
Pig poop and coal ash a real concern for people in North Carolina floods
These are the staggering numbers behind Florence's wrath