1.7 million chickens drowned in Florence flooding

Katie Ramirez
September 24, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump warned SC on Wednesday "water is coming your way" in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, as the death toll from the massive storm rose to at least 36 after two women were swept away in a sheriff's van. Thousands of others around the state waited in shelters for the all-clear.

Sanderson Farms says more than a million chickens have died due to flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.

WALLACE, SC - SEPTEMBER 17: Floodwaters inundate a barn after Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, near Wallace, South Carolina.

City officials warned that still-rising water threatened some neighbourhoods and businesses that seemed safe, but said the worst was almost over and life was beginning to return to normal downtown.

"I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won't end", he said.

"And the deaths - it was so sad about the babies (one of whom died in Wilmington)".

A wall of concrete barriers and plastic sheets is being built along U.S. Highway 501 to save the main road into Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from going underwater.

Hurricane Matthew caused a partial structural failure at one lagoon, while none overflowed from rain and 14 were inundated by floodwaters, according to the industry group NC Pork Council.

Experts have said that climate change has increased the likelihood of more massive, sluggish storms like Florence, capable of dropping record amounts of rain and touching off catastrophic flooding.

The deaths of 26 people in North Carolina and six in SC have been attributed to the storm. Two of the SC victims were mental health patients who drowned on Tuesday when a van carrying them was swept away by floodwater.

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Human and animal waste is mixing with the swirling floodwaters, which have killed about 1.7 million chickens on poultry farms.

Last year, North Carolina farmers also raised 830.8 million chickens for meat, 9 percent of the US flock, and 32.5 million turkeys, or 13 percent of the USA total, according to the USDA.

A truck drives through deep flood water in Rhems, North Carolina on September 18, 2018.

North Carolina continues to bear the brunt of Florence's deadly deluge, as rivers continue to rise and thousands of homes and roadways remain submerged. A woman blew a whistle each time drivers had to pull forward.

Resident Todd Tremain needed tarps to cover up spots where Florence's winds ripped shingles off his roof. An olive-drab military forklift moved around huge pallets loaded with supplies.

Brandon Echavarrieta struggled to stay composed as he described life post-Florence with no power for days, rotted meat in the freezer, no water or food and just one bath in a week.

"It's been pretty bad", said Echavarrieta, 34, his voice breaking.

In South Carolina, workers with electricity provider Santee Cooper erected a temporary dike in hopes of preventing flooding of an old coal ash dump at the demolished Grainger Generating Station near Conway.

About 3,500 vehicles came through for supplies on the first day they were available, county officials said in a Facebook post. Rivers swollen by days of rain still threaten communities barely touched by the storm.

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