Michael Jordan donates $2 million for Florence relief and recovery aid

A man paddled a kayak through a flooded neighborhood in Fayetteville N.C. Monday

Utility crews from multiple states worked to restore power, and outages were down from a high of more than 900,000 to about 320,000 homes and businesses, almost all in North Carolina.

Trump greeted people Wednesday as he walked along a flooded street in the city of Conway, near Myrtle Beach.

Property damage from the storm is expected to come to $17 billion to $22 billion, the risk management firm Moody's Analytics said. Some people applauded as he went by.

Despite everything they had been through, the volunteers and locals were energized, and cheered when he finished handing out food, then crowded around the president to get photos.

Cooper said Florence was "epic" in nature. "All of the folks from the federal government that are around the table are confirming it".

"We're giving you a lot of help", Trump said to one resident as he toured a storm-damaged neighborhood, doling out hugs and words of comfort. "We'll have it all taken care of". "To all those impacted by this bad storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help. And you will recover". After being told that the lake was fine, he replied, "I love that area".

"One thing we know is that sunshine doesn't necessarily mean safety", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a late-afternoon press conference and warned the 15,000 residents living in shelters against returning home too soon. The Trump National Golf Club is situated on the shores of Lake Norman.

Trump started his tour of storm-ravaged communities on Wednesday in North Carolina.

Marine One, the presidential helicopter, landed in Conway shortly before 2:30 p.m. Conway was one of the areas hardest hit by the storm in SC, and the water levels of the Waccamaw River continue to rise.

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Addressing roughly 10,000 people who remain in shelters and "countless more" staying elsewhere, Cooper urged them to stay put for now, particularly those from the hardest-hit coastal counties that include Wilmington, near where Florence blew ashore on Friday (Saturday NZT).

"I'm just assuming, based on the depth of the water that we had in North Carolina and the amount of rainfall, that we probably will exceed what we had in [Hurricane] Matthew", Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in an interview, referring to hog losses.

When Trump visited San Juan last October after Hurricane Maria, he pumped his fists in the air when he landed.

And during a visit to Puerto Rico, where he was roundly criticized for lobbing paper towels into a crowd at a church as if shooting baskets, the president asked a couple if they felt safe in their concrete home.

"Have a good time" seems to be Trump's hurricane catchphrase. Many people in the crowd smiled and raised their phones to record the moment.

Jordan is contributing $1 million each to the American Red Cross and the Foundation For The Carolinas' Hurricane Florence Response Fund.

"If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that'll be very interesting", the president said, adding that he "really would want to see what she has to say".

Mindful of the recurring criticism, Trump defended his administration's response to Florence on Tuesday, predicting Democrats will eventually look to slam the efforts for political reasons.

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