In Florence’s Floodwater: Sewage, Coal Ash and Hog Waste Lagoon Spills Inside Climate News September 18, 2018

Clean-water advocates who surveyed the state by plane on Monday documented two breaches in a coal ash landfill near Wilmington, and found that giant ash piles near a power plant in another part of the state had been overcome by floodwater. They spotted dozens of hog farms with waste lagoons under water. One poultry company estimated that 1.7 million of its chickens had drowned and said its farmers hadn’t been able to reach millions more.

3.4 Million Chickens, 5,500 Hogs Killed in Florence’s Flooding EcoWatch September 18, 2018

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. When Matthew hit the state, it flooded more than 140 hog and poultry barns, more than a dozen open hog waste pits and thousands of acres of manure-saturated fields, the Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper Alliance reported. Poultry is the number one agricultural industry in North Carolina, with a statewide economic impact of $36.6 billion a year, according to the North Carolina Poultry Federation. Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the country, issued a statement on Monday that 1.7 million of its broiler chickens “were destroyed as a result of flooding.” Sixty of its 880 broiler houses in North Carolina flooded and another six broiler houses experienced damage. Four breeder houses out of a total of 92 in the state flooded.

Hurricane Florence’s Unusual Extremes Worsened by Climate Change inside climate news September 14, 2018

They estimated that Florence’s rainfall forecast is more than 50 percent higher than it would have been without global warming, and that the hurricane’s projected size is about 80 kilometers larger. It was a quick study, and more extensive analysis after the storm will fine-tune those estimates, other scientists said, but they acknowledged that it’s indicative of human influence on extreme weather. … “With Florence, there’s a lot I would say that’s consistent with our understanding of how global warming affects tropical systems,” said Woods Hole Research Center president and director Phil Duffy. Not all the science is set, but the global warming projections are robust for more Category 4 and 5 storms, as well as a trend to more rapid intensification, he said. “That’s simply a function of very warm sea surface temperatures, and those are obviously tied to global warming. And this storm track is kind of weird, it’s unusual and unexpected. Normally these things proceed parallel to the coastline, this one is pretty much T-boning the coast.”