Submerged by Florence, North Carolina’s Rural Towns Fight for Attention

The health dangers don’t stop with a hurricane’s churning. They can get worse

gas station

In coming weeks, long after Hurricane Florence’s winds and rains have faded, its aftermath will still pose life-threatening hazards: snakes, submerged sharp objects, bacterial infections and disease-carrying mosquitoes.

People are trapped by floodwaters and facing dwindling supplies of medicines, food and drinking water. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a danger as people crank up portable generators, and respiratory viruses will circulate in crammed shelters.

On Monday morning, in Maxton, N.C., Dan Lowry, 48, and his wife, Jewel, 51, trudged through the waist-high water around Dan’s father’s house, aware of the dangers around them…


Submerged by Florence, North Carolina’s Rural Towns Fight for Attention

As the rivers trapped them inside their blacked-out town, the dwindling families of Ivanhoe collected rain to drink in plastic pitchers and flushed the toilets with buckets of rust-colored hurricane floodwater.

They salvaged thawing chicken from their broken freezers and cooked it over wood fires. They handed out headlamps at bedtime so their family members could find the bathroom in the bottomless dark. They sweated through the night and wondered how long they — and their little farming town — could bear all this.

It has been a week since Hurricane Florence slugged ashore, and as much of the Carolinas picks its way back home to assess the damage, this town at the confluence of the Black and South Rivers was still filling up with water. It is a drain trap for Florence’s record rain and floods, with no power and no roads in or out…


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