Drownings push hurricane death toll to 19 in flooded North Carolina

John Cantey couldn’t help but break down after fearing the worst about his missing dog

Hurricane Matthew-bloated rivers in North Carolina will continue to rise this week, threatening to flood parts of the state, NBC News reported. Among them: the valley below Wood Lake Dam, about 20 miles northwest of Fayetteville, which has been reinforced but remains in danger of failing.

In Greenville, officials warned the Tar River would overwhelm every bridge in the county by sundown, splitting it in half before the river crests late Wednesday.

Rivers in SC are also still rising and in major flood stage; one reached record level of 17.1 feet this morning.

She said already fragile water and sanitation infrastructure has been severely damaged, resulting in the absence of drinking water and "a very high level of infections from diarrheal disease, including, but not exclusively, cholera".

"You are not only putting your life in jeopardy, you are" also endangering rescuers, he said. Thirty-four schools systems are closed, and "our whole court system is paralyzed", McCrory said.

The N.C. Highway Patrol said the man confronted a trooper and him and two members of the Robeson County Sheriff's Office as they were conducting a search and rescue operation in Lumberton on Monday.

Blue said ice and water were being shipped in because about 26,000 utility customers in the county lacked water. Austin Baker with the North Carolina Forestry Service moves a measuring stick along Widow Moore Drive, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 in Currie, N.C. Crews were preparing to go out in the community to help residents along th.

"Please pray for our community", Lumberton Rescue and EMS said on its Facebook page.

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The 19 storm-related fatalities in North Carolina brings the official US death toll to at least 29 - with more people waiting to be rescued.

Three more people have also been reported missing in flooded areas. Close to a third (29.8%) of Native American people, 27.1% of black people, and 34.2% of Latinxs in North Carolina fall into that category, according to 2012 census data.

Two days after the storm blew out to sea, Matthew's death toll in the United States climbed to 34, including 18 in North Carolina and nine in Florida, as well as more than 500 feared dead in Haiti.

Matthew's aftermath drew comparisons to Hurricane Floyd, which triggered devastating floods in North Carolina in 1999 and caused more than $3 billion in damages in the state. Floyd left behind its own environmental crisis from livestock farming, when waste from hog lagoons mixed with flood waters in a toxic mess.

"We want you to evacuate these low-lying areas absolutely and immediately", Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy told WITN-TV on Wednesday.

The NC Disaster Relief Fund financially supports long-term recovery efforts performed by groups recognized by the North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NCVOAD). Forecasters say moderate flooding is occurring and conditions aren't expected to get better before Friday morning. 17 shelters are still open with 708 people in them, down from 78 shelters with 6,733 people.

So far, 2,000 people have been rescued from the floodwaters in North Carolina, which have been steadily rising since Hurricane Matthew dumped two-days of rain on most of the state's 100 counties.

Power remained out to hundreds of thousands of residents, and thousands were boiling their water amid the collateral damage wrought by Hurricane Matthew.

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