(NEW BERN, N.C.) — 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.
“Thank you, Mr. President, for coming to North Carolina as our rescue and recovery continues,” Cooper said. “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.
“We have never seen one like this,” Cooper added. “This one has been epic, it has been disastrous and it has been widespread.
“We’ve got a long road ahead… to make sure we build back to where we need to be,” Cooper continued. “I’m asking you, sir, for your help every step of the way.”
Trump promised, “Whatever we have to do at the federal level, we will be there.”
At least 37 people, including several young children, have died from Florence, which brought unprecedented rainfall and flooding to the Carolinas.
Many rivers are still rising and some are in major or record flood stage.
Trump called Florence “one of the most powerful and devastating storms ever to hit our country.”
To those who lost loved ones, Trump said, “America grieves with you … we’re with you all the way.”
The hurricane prompted widespread evacuations and about 10,000 people remain in shelters, the governor said.
Officials distributed goods Tuesday including food, water and tarps to Wilmington, North Carolina, residents who lined up in cars and on foot.
Among those in line were Robert and Karen Foster, whose ceiling collapsed during the storm.
“Everybody’s closed, so we’re hoping we can at least get a tarp here, maybe two,” Karen Foster told ABC News.
Through tears, she said she has survived hurricanes Floyd in 1999 and Matthew in 2016 but “this has been the absolute worst one.”
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.