Hurricane Florence has impacted many people throughout out the state of North Carolina. A group of veterans, many of them sick and disabled, began a return to the VA Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia on September 17th. The veterans were evacuated from the Medical Center to keep them safe from the effects of Hurricane Florence.
The situation was not as stable in North Carolina where the heavy rain from the storm resulted in many hospitals and clinics to remain closed. The VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina remained ‘isolated’ by flood waters and was planning to reopen on Wednesday. Officials note that each facility will only be reopened when it is safe for patients, their families, and staff to travel to and from the facilities.
The Veterans Administration took the precaution of closing five hospitals along with 18 clinics in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These closings took place just ahead of the landfall of Florence on September 14.
The Veterans Administration says that approximately 1.5 million veterans and more than 28,000 employees of the VA live in the storm-affected area.
The VA announced before the storm that oxygen and energy supplies had been ‘topped off’ and all facilities possessed enough food items to last for two weeks after Hurricane Florence made landfall. The VA also moved 217 ill veterans from the medical center in Hampton to medical centers in other parts of the state.
The VA also prepared mobile units to be ready once Florence passed to provide medical services to veterans in the region affected by the storm. It is not clear at this time when these mobile units will become active in North Carolina.
The aftermath of Hurricane Florence includes reports of 23 deaths attributed to the storm. News reports in the area report that the city of Wilmington, North Carolina has been effectively cut-off from the rest of the state by the storm.
Roy Cooper, Governor of North Carolina, said that the storm is slowly making its way across the state. The governor explains that the main worry at this time is the rising water that has accompanied the storm.
Governor Cooper explains that the rivers continue to rise with each inch of falling rain and that the flooding is expected to continue into next week. Cooper ends by saying that when all is said and done, the state of North Carolina could see flooding of historic proportions.