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President Trump once again told survivors of a killer hurricane to "have a good time, " offering the ill-timed comment on Wednesday, during a tour of storm-ravaged North Carolina.

Florence is a "storm like no other" and its deadly flooding means "a long road ahead" for North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper said at a joint news conference with President Donald Trump Wednesday.

"Over the next couple of days, it's going to get rough in SC".

"We have never seen one like this", Cooper added.

Earlier in the day, Trump was handing out meals to hurricane victims and told one person in a vehicle, "Have a good time" as if they were going to an entertainment outing.

Although the president avoided mistakes such as he made a year ago in Puerto Rico, where he downplayed the tragedy and said that Hurricane Maria had not been a "real catastrophe", he did spark some criticism by taking advantage of his trip to visit Navy installations in North Carolina to ask about the condition of Lake Norman.

Florence has killed at least 35 people and left entire towns in North Carolina flooded with muddy, fetid water.

The death toll from Storm Florence has risen to 37 after officials confirmed the deaths of two SC mental health patients, officials say.

Local and state officials from across North Carolina warn that the full effects of Florence have yet to be seen.

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- Many people in Fayetteville and Cumberland County are feeling a sense of relief now that the Cape Fear River has crested and is receding.

Meantime, swine losses in North Carolina are estimated at 5,500, state veterinarian Dr. Doug Meckes said. Floodwaters have disrupted efforts to restore power, clear roads and allow evacuated residents to go home.

Florence, the storm that brought the misery, has gone from a hurricane to a tropical depression to a meandering system that dropped rain over the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

After a briefing on the recovery effort in North Carolina, Trump helped hand out hot dogs and chips at a Baptist church in New Bern, a riverfront city that experienced severe flooding.

The risk of environmental damage mounted, as human and animal waste was washed into the swirling floodwaters.

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

The president, who previous year visited Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico after the passage of several hurricanes, repeated several activities that he had undertaken there, distributing hot dogs and other food to people forced from their homes and chatting with some of those affected.

Florence has claimed eight lives in SC thus far, and flooding is expected to worsen later this week and into next. The president walked along a street strewn with piles of trash, branches and sodden furniture, offering hugs and handshakes and posing for photos outside damaged houses.

Thousands of rescues have taken place in the Carolinas.


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