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Donald Trump monitors Hurricane Florence preparedness, response effort

September 16, 2018

President Trump on Sunday was monitoring the preparedness and response effort for Hurricane Florence, the White House said.

Overseeing the federal actions, Mr. Trump was briefed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long.

“Yesterday, he spoke with Mayor Brenda Bethune of Myrtle Beach, SC and Mayor Dana Outlaw of New Bern, NC. They discussed the rescue and response efforts in those communities and the President offered the full support of Federal government,” the White House said in a statement.

As it moved inland, the storm weakened to a tropic depression Sunday. But North Carolina faced catastrophic, widespread river flooding that could be the next stage of a mounting disaster.

After blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90 mph winds on Friday, Florence was still spinning slowly atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore.

The storm’s death toll climbed to 14 when a man drowned after a pickup truck flipped into a drainage ditch along a flooded road in South Carolina. Earlier, authorities said two people died from inhaling carbon monoxide from a generator in their home.

About 740,000 homes and businesses remained without power in the Carolinas, and utilities said some could be out for weeks.

Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, but North and South Carolina were in the bull’s-eye.

Mr. Long said officials were still focused on finding and rescuing people.

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