Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
TROPICAL WEATHER-A DEATH
1 death during Florence: A hunter keeping watch on his dogs
KINSTON, N.C. (AP) – Flooding was just one of the things that killed more than two dozen people in North Carolina after Florence hit last week. One man died trying to help his dogs.
Family members say 77-year-old Bennie Lee Sutton apparently fell and died of a heart attack in a field next to his backyard dog kennel. Sutton’s wife Marian says the dogs were howling and barking as the hurricane approached the coast about 70 miles from their home outside Kinston. She says the avid hunter and outdoorsman spent the stormy midnight hours in his pickup truck, shining the headlights on the dog pen knowing that would quiet the animals.
Marian Sutton says her husband of 46 years was known locally as a top athlete who once excelled in baseball, softball and basketball.
TROPICAL WEATHER-TRUMP-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump assures South Carolina as flooding lingers
HAVELOCK, N.C. (AP) – President Donald Trump says South Carolina is in for a “rough few days” in the aftermath of Florence, but assures the state that the federal government “is behind you.”
Trump spoke Wednesday at an emergency management center in the city of Conway, near Myrtle Beach.
He noted that he visited North Carolina earlier in the day to survey other damage caused by Florence. He tells South Carolina “all that water is coming your way.”
Trump says that, although the weather outside may be nice, “it’s really the calm before the storm.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said during the same briefing that “the worst is yet to come” for his state.
Both Carolinas are grappling with the effects of severe flooding, with more flooding expected as rivers crest.
Hurricane floods mix 3.2M gallons of wastewater with creek
(Information from: The Daily News, http://www.jdnews.com)
RICHLANDS, N.C. (AP) – An official at a water utility company in North Carolina says Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters caused 3.2 million gallons of partially-treated wastewater to mix with a creek.
The Daily News of Jacksonville reports the Onslow Sewer and Water Authority says the storm’s rainfall caused water in the Northwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility in Richlands to rise several feet.
CEO Jeff Hudson says the water “devastated” the plant and fried electrical units used to control and perform the water treatment process. He says the partially-treated wastewater then mixed with floodwaters before draining into Cowhorn Swamp.
Hudson says none of the hazardous chemicals at the plant were mixed with the creek. He says it’s unclear how long repairs will take, and the company is seeking funds to protect the plant against future floods.
TROPICAL WEATHER-TOXIC SITES
Floods prevent inspectors from studying environmental harm
Aerial photographs show widespread devastation to farms and industrial sites in eastern North Carolina.
But conditions remain so bad on the ground that inspectors have been prevented from visiting some of the hardest hit areas to collect samples of the floodwater for lab testing.
Photographs have revealed tell-tale trails of rainbow-colored sheen indicating potential contamination visible on top of the black floodwaters.
State officials say about 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs have been killed in flooding from Florence as rising North Carolina rivers swamped dozens of farm buildings where the animals were being raised for market.
The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Hurricane Florence is still wearing out the Carolinas, where residents have endured an agonizing week of violent winds, torrential rain, widespread flooding, power outages and death.
Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.
Florence is blamed for at least 37 deaths. That includes those of two women who drowned when a sheriff’s van taking them to a mental health facility was swept off a road.
President Donald Trump visited North and South Carolina on Wednesday, saying the government will be there to help.
But evacuee and college student Evan Jones says he’s just ready for it all to be over. In his words: “I’m trying to get it all out of my head.”
TROPICAL WEATHER-DETAINEES DROWN
Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Officials say two women being transported to a mental health facility by deputies have drowned when they were trapped in the van as it was engulfed in rising South Carolina floodwaters.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said the bodies of 45-year-old Windy Newton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green were recovered from the van Wednesday evening.
Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson says the women died Tuesday night when two of his deputies taking them to a mental health facility under court order drove into high water. Thompson says the van submerged and the deputies weren’t able to save the women from the back.
Responders decided it wasn’t safe to try to retrieve the women’s bodies from the van Tuesday night because of darkness.
The incident is under investigation and the deputies are on administrative leave.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Ferry services resuming in North Carolina
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina transportation officials say ferry service for the public has resumed for several more coastal routes.
In addition, the N.C. Department of Transportation said Wednesday two state ferries arrived in Southport late Tuesday evening carrying fuel, transportation workers and supplies to the Wilmington area.
The department said in a news release the Southport to Fort Fisher routes resumed Wednesday on a limited schedule for Brunswick County residents and essential vendors, people with critical medical and commerce responsibilities and infrastructure support personnel.
The department said the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach ferry service resumed Wednesday for daytime trips only. The Bayview-to-Aurora ferry services resumed Tuesday evening and the Currituck to Knotts Island ferry resumed full service on Sept. 15.
The ferry service between Swan Quarter and Ocracoke Island and the Cedar Island-to-Ocracoke ferry have both resumed limited service.
North Carolina man charged in deaths of wife, son.
(Information from: The Hickory Daily Record, http://www.hickoryrecord.com)
CATAWBA, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have charged a man with two counts of murder in the deaths of his wife and son.
The Hickory Record reports Catawba police say 61-year-old Warren Lee Raymond is charged in the deaths of 55-year-old Barbara Jean Parker Raymond and 30-year-old Warren Lee Raymond Jr. Catawba Police Chief Duane Cozzen said the two were killed on Sept. 13. The cause of their deaths wasn’t reported.
The elder Raymond is jailed without bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.
Catawba Police Chief Duane Cozzen said the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case and is still logging evidence.