GREENSBORO (WFMY) – After Florence rolled through North Carolina, leaving more than 26 dead, homes damaged and businesses destroyed, state officials are asking for help.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, spoke at Governor Roy Cooper’s press conference Tuesday afternoon asking for volunteers.
So far, 26 people have died from the storm in the state of North Carolina. Still more have passed away in South Carolina and one person died in a tornado spawned by the same storm system on Monday in Virginia.
Emergency responders rescued 2,200 people as of Tuesday, along with nearly 600 animals. There are around 10,000 people staying in shelters, with still more staying with friends and family.
Cohen said they are also modifying some of the state’s food programs for the month.
“People in the food and nutrition services program will now be able to purchase hot food, including prepared food from authorized electronic benefit transfer realtors,” she said.
That change applies to the entire state through the end of October. People enrolled in the WIC program in affected counties will also get an extra month of benefits, while the Medicaid program will also see some changes.
For more information on how to get help, program changes or crisis counseling you can call the state hotline at 800-985-5990.
Governor Roy Cooper warned North Carolina residents Tuesday to not return home to the coast just yet. He said there are 16 rivers currently flooding in North Carolina, with three more expected to crest Wednesday or Thursday.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said there are 255 roads across the state closed today, compared to 356 closed yesterday. That, of course, includes the part of Interstate 40 that was pictured literally underwater yesterday. Officials asked anyone who does not need to be on the roads to stay off of them, so their emergency vehicles can get through in the impacted areas.
For the North Carolina government’s official road closure list, click here.