Florence flooding updates: Trump visits; Cooper says we've 'never seen one like this'

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As some rivers around the state crest and begin to slowly recede, officials warn the danger is far from over and are urging evacuees not to return home just yet.


President Donald Trump arrived in North Carolina around 10:30 a.m. He will tour damage in the New Bern area on Wednesday.

During a news conference, Governor Cooper said the storm was “epic” and unlike any other that’s hit the state.

“We are a beacon in the South, and we have weathered storms before in our state. Mr. President, we have never seen one like this. This one was been epic. It has been disastrous. It has been wide spread. It’s a storm like no other.”

The death toll has climbed to 37 storm-related deaths in three states, 27 of which were in North Carolina.

Officials warned that false rumors have been circulating about roads being open that are not open after all. Check with ABC11 or on the NCDOT website to find out which roads are open and which are closed.

Gov. Roy Cooper said that the flooding set off by as much as 3 feet of rain from Florence is far from finished and will get worse in places.

Hundreds of people waited in long lines for water and other essentials in Wilmington, still mostly cut off by rising water days after Hurricane Florence unleashed epic floods, and North Carolina’s governor pleaded with more than 10,000 evacuees around the state not to return home yet. He said this was especially pertinent for New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.

“I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won’t end,” he said.

Flooding has caused the NC DOT to close parts of Person Street bridge over the Cape Fear River in downtown Fayetteville and Interstate 95 on Tuesday evening.

VIDEOS: Chopper11 footage captures ongoing flooding over North Carolina

Several rivers remain well above flood stage, but many — such as the Cape Fear River — have crested, and the waters are beginning to recede.

Here’s how to monitor potential flooding in your area.

The flooding after Hurricane Florence has reached historic levels in more than one part of the state. Morehead City broke the official record for most rainfall ever recorded in the state from a tropical system when 25.77 inches were recorded there. Wilmington, meanwhile, has already surpassed its annual rainfall total with three months to go.

Rivers have also reached historic levels. The Cape Fear River is expected crested above levels brought by Hurricane Matthew.

Authorities advise not to go into the floodwaters as they could pose dangers, such as snakes, and health risks, such as sewage water.

RELATED: Flood safety information to know


At least 900 people have been rescued by the National Guard as rescue efforts continue, officials said.

First responders from local, state and federal agencies are helping those stranded by high water, and many more are standing by to be deployed.

ABC11’s Julie Wilson accompanied one team of volunteers and helped save a dog. Other cats and dogs were among the rescued.

Here are more uplifting stories of neighbors helping neighbors during the storm.


How to help

See a full list of ways to help on the ABC11 Together page or go to our relief drive page to donate now.

Emergency information

911 or 211: Which should you call?

Stay up-to-date on power outages.

See the list of 120 shelters for Florence evacuees.


See the latest road closures around the state.

Here’s how to get in and out of Wilmington.

Around the Triangle

See the list. of school closures and updates here.

Here’s what you need to know about trash pick-ups, curfews, bus schedules and more.

For victims

Find out how to get emergency federal assistance.

Here’s how to get mental health support after the storm.

Finally, find full coverage of the storm here.

(Copyright ©2018 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.)