Associated Press

NC State Fair to Provide Preview of Fried Food Fare

If you’re hankering for a Krispy Kreme burger or deep-fried Oreos and just can’t wait for the North Carolina State Fair to open next month, here’s a temporary fix. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports fair officials are holding their first “Taste of the State Fair” in four cities across central and eastern North Carolina this weekend. The fair begins on Oct. 11. The event will be held in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville and Greenville. Selections will be available from food trucks to sample for free when buying advance tickets to the fair, but the food can also be purchased...

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Carolinas Farms Could Take Billions in Losses from Florence

Hurricane Florence is testing the resolve of farmers in the Carolinas, who could face billions of dollars in agricultural damage while still feeling the sting from Hurricane Matthew almost two years ago. After last weekend’s high winds and rain that was measured in feet, followed by this week’s rising rivers and standing water in fields, early farm reports are confirming pre-storm worries about losses to tobacco, cotton and corn crops. North Carolina industry leaders remain anxious about whether sweet potatoes and peanuts — grown beneath the soil and susceptible to flooding — will suffer greatly as well. Matthew hurt eastern...

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Hurricane Florence’s Death Toll Rises to 41

At least 41 deaths have now been attributed to Hurricane Florence. North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Keith Acree says four additional deaths were reported Thursday to the state and occurred in Duplin County. He did not release further details about the deaths. The death toll in North Carolina now stands at 31. The other deaths occurred in South Carolina and Virginia. Photo via Associated Press / David...

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Regulators: NC Flooding Too Bad to Tally Environmental Harm

Aerial photographs show widespread devastation to farms and industrial sites in eastern North Carolina, with tell-tale trails of rainbow-colored sheen indicating potential contamination visible on top of the black floodwaters. However, conditions remain so bad more than five days after Hurricane Florence made landfall that the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality said its inspectors have been unable to visit the hardest hit areas or collect samples of the flood water for lab testing. The agency’s regional office in Fayetteville had one foot of water inside, while other locations were without electricity. “DEQ is waiting for travel conditions to improve...

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Florence Death Toll Climbs to 37; Trump Visits Stricken Area

The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at least 37, including two women who drowned when a sheriff’s van taking them to a mental health facility was swept away by floodwaters, and North Carolina’s governor pleaded with thousands of evacuees not to return home just yet. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, arrived in storm-ravaged North Carolina on Wednesday and helped volunteers at a church in the hard-hit coastal town of New Bern. “How’s the house?” Trump was heard asking one person as distributed plastic foam containers of food, including hot dogs, chips and fruit. “You take care of yourself.”...

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3.4M Chickens, 5,500 Hogs Dead in Florence Flood

State officials in North Carolina now say 3.4 million chickens and 5,500 hogs have been killed in flooding from Florence. The former hurricane swamped dozens of farm buildings where the animals were being raised for market. Officials previously had estimated that about 1.7 million chickens had drowned and that the number of potential hog deaths was unknown. The N.C. Department of Agriculture issued the mortality totals as major flooding continues in the state due to the storm’s drenching rains. Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday. Photo...

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NC Officials Say Flooding Far From Over

North Carolina officials say even though the sun is shining in parts of the state, major flooding is continuing in the aftermath of Florence and is expected to worsen in some areas. Gov. Roy Cooper says 16 rivers are at major flood stage Tuesday with an additional three forecast to peak Wednesday and Thursday. He says he knows for many North Carolinians it feels like “a nightmare that just won’t end.” About 10,000 people are in shelters across the state and around 343,000 are without power. Cooper says first responders have reported rescuing and evacuating more than 2,200 people...

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Pollution Fears: Swollen Rivers Swamp Ash Dumps, Hog Farms

Flooded rivers from Florence’s drenching rains have swamped coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms, raising pollution concerns as the swollen waterways approach their crests Monday. North Carolina environmental regulators say several open-air manure pits at hog farms have failed, spilling pollution. State officials also were monitoring the breach of a Duke Energy coal ash landfill near Wilmington. Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan said Monday that the earthen dam at one hog lagoon in Duplin County had been breached. There were also seven reports of lagoon levels going over their tops or being inundated in Jones and...

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Florence’s Rains: Coal Ash Landfill Collapses in Carolinas

Duke Energy said Saturday night that heavy rains from Florence caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station near the North Carolina coast. Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said about 2,000 cubic yards of ash were displaced at the L. V. Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington and that contaminated runoff likely flowed into the plant’s cooling pond. The company has not yet determined whether the weir that drains the lake was open or if contamination may have flowed into the Cape Fear River. That’s roughly enough ash to fill 180 dump trucks. Florence...

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Death Toll Rises to 11 as Florence Pours on the Rain

The Marines, the Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles Saturday to rescue hundreds of people trapped by Florence’s shoreline onslaught, even as North Carolina braced for what could be the next stage of the disaster: widespread, catastrophic flooding inland. The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm climbed to 11. A day after blowing ashore with 90 mph winds, Florence practically parked itself over land all day long and poured on the rain. With rivers rising toward record levels, thousands of people were ordered to evacuate for fear the next few days could bring...

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