3.4 million poultry, 5,500 hogs drowned in Florence flooding

A flooded farm stands next to the Lumber River on Monday in this aerial

Florence has moved on, but N.C. is still dealing with its devastating impacts

More than 53,600 USA homes and businesses, mostly in North Carolina and SC, were still without power on Wednesday, after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast last week, power companies said.

Officials in the Carolinas are anxious about what deaths are still to come amid the swelling rivers and flooding from Florence's crawl across both states. Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday.

"I'm just assuming, based on the depth of the water that we had in North Carolina and the amount of rainfall, that we probably will exceed what we had in [Hurricane] Matthew", Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in an interview, referring to hog losses.

Road closures are widespread: more than 1,100 roads are shut down, including 255 primary roadways.

Mayor Bill Saffo said two routes were now open into Wilmington, which had been completely cut off by floodwaters, but those roads could close again as water swells the Cape Fear River on the city's west side.

Twenty-seven of the 37 deaths attributed to the storm have been in North Carolina, where Florence and its floodwaters have caused significant damage in the state. "But please know we will not give up on you".

At Fayetteville, about 100 miles inland, near the Army's sprawling Fort Bragg, the Cape Fear River had risen about 50 feet toward a crest that was predicted to be more than 25 feet above flood level.

The EPA has also said that once conditions allow, it plans are to deploy "reconnaissance teams" to inspect Superfund hazardous-waste sites in the Carolinas and Georgia.

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

Local officials say the president is also expected to visit flooded areas near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

President Trump said nearly 20,000 military personnel and federal workers were deployed to help with the aftermath of the storm, The Associated Press reported.

"We continue to feel the effects of this massive storm", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Tuesday.

Photos from the site provided to AP by Cape Fear River Watch, an environmental advocacy group, show cascades of gray-colored water spilling from at least two breaches at the landfill and flowing toward Sutton Lake, the plant's former cooling pond which is now used for public recreation, including fishing and boating. Four other lagoons suffered structural damage from floodwaters, the agency said.

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