Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Florence evacuees return as others brace for more flooding
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The crisis from Hurricane Florence is slowly moving to South Carolina along with the trillions of gallons of water dumped by the storm.
People in coastal Horry County and nearby areas had enough warning and certainty about where the water was going that hundreds loaded furniture from their homes into trucks and flatbeds to take to higher ground.
In North Carolina, many started returning to flooded homes as the rivers receded. They were met by silty mud on walls and floors, blown out windows and terrible odors.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated his state has already suffered $1.2 billion in damage. He asked Congress for help.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the state is still tallying its storm damage, but says it will be in the billions.
TROPICAL WEATHER-SURVEYING THE DAMAGE
Reckoning with loss of homes, livelihoods after Florence
SPRING LAKE, N.C. (AP) – With Florence’s floodwaters receding in some places and still menacing others, tired and waterlogged North Carolinians are getting a chance to take stock of the destruction.
When rivers spilled from their banks this week, many were forced to flee their homes in multiple inland cities. Now that waters are receding, property owners along its banks are picking through debris and figuring out what’s left of their homes and livelihood.
In a flooded Lumberton neighborhood, Kevin Caudle has donned waders to wade in and check on his house multiple days this week. He fears that the floodwaters could be creeping above his crawlspace and could cause more damage.
He told a reporter in a text message: “Very disheartening but we will make it through it.”
Officials: Couple, 2 children die in multi-vehicle crash
WARRENTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say four members of a North Carolina family, including two children, have died in a multi-vehicle crash near Virginia.
News outlets report the family was driving south on Interstate 85 Thursday when their vehicle was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer, forcing it into one car and underneath another. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says 47-year-olds Linda and Timothy Jowers, 10-year-old Brianna Jowers and 8-year-old Alexander Jowers died in the crash.
Authorities say another wreck had slowed traffic when 55-year-old James Pratt, of Virginia, crashed into the Bowers. Pratt was treated at a hospital and charged with death by motor vehicle and reckless driving. Three other people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
WRAL-TV reports the Warren County District Attorney says the family was returning from a trip to Washington, D.C.
The Latest: NFL’s Panthers donating to help Florence victims
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The new owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers has announced an initial package to aid Hurricane Florence disaster relief efforts in North and South Carolina.
Owner David Tepper and Panthers Charities announced the donations in a news release Thursday.
The package includes a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross, $450,000 to regional food banks through 25,000 emergency food packs, as well as aid to high school athletic programs affected by storm damage.
The Panthers staff and players will engage in direct service projects for impacted areas.
The team is also spearheading and coordinating an effort with college football programs in North and South Carolina to unveil a special “One Carolina” helmet sticker to be worn during games on Saturday. Panthers players will wear the sticker during Sunday’s home game against Cincinnati.
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.
Judge blocks law that stops farmworker union activities
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge blocked a North Carolina law limiting organized labor’s work with farmworkers, siding with a magistrate’s ruling that said the law is unconstitutional.
The ruling signed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs means the law cannot go into effect while legal challenges filed by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee proceed.
The law prohibits farming operations from collecting union dues from workers and blocks any future legal settlements requiring a farm to enter into a collective bargaining agreement.
A federal magistrate had issued a ruling in August saying the law violated the 14th Amendment because it treats farmworker unions differently than other unions.
Rep. Jimmy Dixon of Duplin County sponsored the amendment with the anti-union language in 2017. He said Thursday he thinks unions are counterproductive.
KOREAN WAR-US REMAINS-THE LATEST
The Latest: US identifies remains of 2 Korean War soldiers
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has identified the remains of two American servicemen who were killed during the Korean War and whose remains were returned by North Korea two months ago following Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon).
Trump tweets that the remains include those of Charles H. McDaniel, a 32-year-old Army master sergeant from Vernon, Indiana, and William H. Jones, a 19-year-old Army private from Nash County, North Carolina.
The president says: “These HEROES are home, they may Rest In Peace, and hopefully their families can have closure.”
The Pentagon has also confirmed the identities.
McDaniel’s name had been made public last month because his military identification tag was among the 55 boxes of remains that North Korea turned over on July 27.
Thousands of additional remains are believed to lie on North Korean battlefields and at former POW camps.
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.