Local groups start relief drive for victims of Hurricane Florence

Chicken farm buildings are inundated with floodwater from Hurricane Florence near Trenton North Carolina on Sunday.       Steve Helber  AP

Chicken farm buildings are inundated with floodwater from Hurricane Florence near Trenton North Carolina on Sunday. Steve Helber AP

"The planning that went into this is beyond belief", Trump said shortly after arriving at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina".

Trump, who has been criticized for his handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago, also thanked first responders for their work since Florence made landfall on Friday and recapped the efforts to get food to residents and restore power.

Although the storm is long gone, river flooding still poses a danger to the area.

Officials closed the Little River Bridge to traffic after water levels went over its projected forecast of 34.4 feet.

All areas around the river, within one mile, are under a mandatory evacuation.

That's the takeaway from recent viral news stories coming out in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, which are drawing attention to the plight of the animals left behind as owners are forced to flee the flooded region.

Authorities say two female inmates being transported to a mental health facility in SC drowned in rising flood waters after the van they were in was swept away.

Local groups start relief drive for victims of Hurricane Florence

"A map in a catastrophe is only so good as its ability to capture real-time information either from sensors or people", Steve Goldsmith, a professor who directs Harvard University's Data-Smart City Solutions project, told The Associated Press. Thousands are already in shelters in North Carolina.

"We're ready.to do whatever we have to do to make this flawless", Trump said at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in eastern North Carolina, where he received a briefing from state and local officials.

A auto sits in a flooded parking lot at an apartment complex near the Cape Fear River as it continues to rise in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Fayetteville, Sept. 18, 2018.

The town has largely been cut off by flooding from the still-rising Lumber River, which was expected to crest on Wednesday.

Mindful of the recurring criticism, Trump defended the administration's response to Florence on Twitter on Tuesday, predicting Democrats will eventually look to criticize the efforts for political reasons. Critics said the Trump administration was slow to recognise the extent of the damage and slow to help.

"I think it will be an incredible day", Trump told reporters as he exited the White House en route to stops in both North and SC.

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