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Florida Fish and Wildlife officers responding after Hurricane Michael on Oct. 17, 2018. Gus Holzer / Florida Fish and Wildlife

A record number of Americans now say that global warming is "personally important" to them, according to the latest Climate Change and the American Mind survey released Tuesday by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. That number has jumped to 72 percent, up nine percentage points since the survey was last conducted in March of 2018.

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During Hurricane Florence, concentrated animal feeding operations like this one in Warsaw, North Carolina, flooded the surrounding community with hog waste.

Justin Cook / Earthjustice

By Emilie Karrick Surrusco

It's been nearly four months since Hurricane Florence battered the North Carolina coast, dumping 9 trillion gallons of water on the state in the span of four days. In Duplin County, home to the nation's largest concentration of industrial hog operations, the storm's deluge laid bare problems that persist in good weather and in bad.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Poultry CAFO, September 18. Emily Sutton / Haw Riverkeeper

The heavy rains and high waters after Hurricane Florence flooded 35 industrial poultry operations in North Carolina housing an estimated 1.8 million birds, according to a new investigation by Waterkeeper Alliance and the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

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Damage from Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon, leaving two dead and nearly 500,000 without power as it rammed through Florida, Georgia and Alabama, BBC News reported.

With winds of 155 miles per hour, it was the third strongest storm in recorded history to hit the U.S. and the strongest ever to hit the affected area, The Washington Post reported.

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Sutton coal ash spill, Sept. 21. Jo-Anne McArthur / Waterkeeper Alliance / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As people in North and South Carolina continue to confront flooding and other massive damage from Hurricane Florence, it's heartbreaking to watch them have to deal with yet another hazard: the toxic coal ash leaked from coal ash ponds and landfills in the region. Even more infuriating is the denial coming from the company responsible for that pollution in the first place—Duke Energy in North Carolina.

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Cassie Rulene Vadovsky / Facebook / Screenshot

Flooding from Hurricane Florence has activated dormant "gallnipper" (Psorophora ciliata) eggs, among others, leading to the hatching of billions of unusually large mosquitoes.

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Mike Pollack searches for a drain in the yard of his flooded waterfront home a day after Hurricane Florence hit the area, on Sept. 15. Wilmington, North Carolina. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

By Robert Walker

Call it "The Great Stall." Hurricane Florence lingered over the Carolinas for four days, dumping some 30 inches of rain. Flood waters are still rising, even as Typhoon Mangkhut, a superstorm 500 miles across, rakes the Philippines and Hong Kong and crashes into China. Florence is just the latest in a long series of catastrophic events generated by stalled weather patterns—slow-moving systems which occur when one of the jet streams that flow around the Earth pinches off a massive section of air from normal wind flows for a prolonged period of time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has compiled a long list of severe weather events in the U.S., and most of them are linked, in one way or another, to stalled weather systems.

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Women in a sheriff's van died in flooding like this from the Little Pee Dee River. Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Two female mental health patients died in flooding caused by Hurricane Florence when a sheriff's department van transporting them from one South Carolina facility to another was swept away Tuesday night, The Associated Press reported.

Horry County Sheriff's Department (HCSD) spokeswoman Brooke Holden told The Associated Press that two deputies and the two detained women were traveling in the van. The deputies tried to get the women out, but were unable to do so. Rescuers were able to extract the deputies from the top of the van.

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A North Carolina concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, on Sept.18, 2018, Larry Baldwin / Crystal Coast Waterkeeper.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that the historic flooding from Florence has killed about 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs.

"This was an unprecedented storm with flooding expected to exceed that from any other storms in recent memory. We know agricultural losses will be significant because the flooding has affected the top six agricultural counties in our state," said agriculture commissioner Steve Troxler in a press release.

The footprint of flooding from this storm covers much of the same area hit by flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which only worsens the burden on these farmers.
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Florence from International Space Station. NASA

By Andy Rowell

As I write, Typhoon Mangkhut and Hurricane Florence are still making waves on different continents leaving millions of people to pick up the cost of these two destructive storms.

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A truck submerged by Florence flooding in Lumberton, NC. ALEX EDELMAN / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Florence, downgraded to a tropical depression, pummeled the Carolinas this weekend, killing 18 so far and instigating flooding that officials said could last through mid-week, CNN reported Monday.

Florence, which scientists predicted would be more than 50 percent wetter due to climate change, is expected to dump 40 inches of rain on parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, with some swollen rivers not cresting until later in the coming week.

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