Trump pledges '100%' support during post-Florence visit to North Carolina

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And to all those impacted by this bad storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help.

More than 18 million litres of partially treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, and the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents.

As Florence was bearing down on the Carolinas last week, Trump reignited the controversy over his handling of Maria by disputing the official death toll of 2,975 in the USA territory, which was compiled by public health experts at George Washington University.

In the town of Fair Bluff, North Carolina, which has struggled to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, only about 50 residents remained on Tuesday, the Fair Bluff police chief, Chris Chafin told Reuters.

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (left) visit a house where a boat washed ashore in the backyard while touring a neighbourhood impacted by Hurricane Florence in New Bern, North Carolina.

"Got it? Have a good time", Trump was caught saying on video as he handed a meal to a man in hard-hit New Bern - prompting an incredulous MSNBC reporter to say off camera: "I think he just said, 'Have a good time'".

"Our state took a gut punch, Mr. President, and our people are still reeling", as farmers lose crops, roads remain blocked off and residents lose their homes.

"To the families who have lost loved ones, America grieves with you, and our hearts break for you". "Nearly 20,000 federal and military personnel are supporting response efforts", he said. "We're going to need your help".

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Brock Long, the embattled FEMA administrator facing mounting questions about an investigation into his use of government vehicles, traveled to North Carolina this week and met with state officials.

"We can attribute that additional rainfall to human-induced climate change", said Kevin Reed, a professor at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, who contributed to the study.

Trump promised, "Whatever we have to do at the federal level, we will be there".

At his later stop in Conway, near Myrtle Beach, Trump greeted people as he walked along a flooded street.

Holden says the deputies tried to get the detainees out but couldn't open the doors.

Governor Cooper thanked the president for coming.

He added later, "Unfortunately, the money will be a lot but it's going to come".

During his visit to Houston a little over a year ago to meet with victims of Hurricane Harvey, Trump said "have a good time, everybody" as he was leaving an emergency shelter.