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Wilmington Isle: Food, water handouts set in isolated city
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Officials are about to begin distributing food, water and tarps in Wilmington, North Carolina, which remains mostly cut off by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence.
County officials say workers will begin handing out supplies to stranded residents in the city of 120,000 people beginning Tuesday morning.
One road was opened into Wilmington at least briefly, and items have been brought into the city by big military trucks and helicopters.
The death toll from Florence has risen to at least 32 people in three states, with 25 fatalities in North Carolina.
Remnants of the once-powerful Category 4 hurricane are now a rainy, windy mass of low pressure. The system has speeded up on a path toward the heavily populated Northeast.
TROPICAL WEATHER-HOMES VERSUS HIGHWAY
S. Carolina town worries plan to save road will flood homes
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) – Some residents and officials in Conway, South Carolina, worry homes will flood because the state wants to save the main highway into Myrtle Beach instead.
On Monday, the Waccamaw River was already flooded and hadn’t yet crested.
State officials say they must keep the road open, or hundreds of thousands of people would be isolated. Tourist-destination Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas are more densely populated.
So the state is building a higher wall in its last stand on U.S. Highway 501.
Officials say the nearly 1,000 homes that will likely flood would be in harm’s way no matter what. They say the plan causes no additional damage.
Joe Holmes fears his home will flood after close calls in other storms. He says officials can’t know what will happen until the water rises.
TROPICAL WEATHER-SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR RESCUE MISSION
S. Carolina gov spots men on flooded road, summons rescue
CHERAW, S.C. (AP) – As South Carolina continues its wait to see how the rains of Florence will impact the state’s low-lying areas and communities, Gov. Henry McMaster’s flight over soggy parts of the state Monday turned from an observation trip to a rescue mission when the governor spotted two people stranded atop a flooded vehicle.
Flying with a South Carolina National Guard crew in a Blackhawk helicopter, the governor was touring Chesterfield and Marlboro County when he pointed at the men, who at first looked like they were floating in a red raft.
But McMaster and Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks noticed the men weren’t on a raft but on the roof of what appeared to be a flooded pickup truck.
Brooks called to dispatchers, who sent in a boat crew to get the men to safety. After making another pass, the governor asked his pilot if the helicopter could land nearby to watch them get to land.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: More N Carolina counties qualify for federal aid
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – More North Carolina counties have qualified for federal disaster aid for their homeowners, renters and businesses reeling from Hurricane Florence damage.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced late Monday that 10 additional counties have been designated for individual assistance, bringing the total to 18 counties damaged by the storm overall as qualifying for such assistance.
Residents and businesses that have damage should file insurance claims first before applying for government assistance. The aid could include grants or low-interest loans.
The new counties designated Monday are Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, Robeson, Sampson and Wayne counties.
Designating the 18 counties also means the federal government can reimburse state and local governments for debris removal and other emergency actions.