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Flooding from Florence causes hog lagoon to breach

The N.C. Pork Council said one small hog lagoon breached and four others flooded due to heavy rainfall this last week. Seven other lagoons are at capacity. Overall, the pork industry trade association does not believe the storm has caused significant damage at the state’s 3,000 lagoons. North Carolina is the second-largest pork producing state, mostly concentrated in the storm-plagued southeast section.

Feds says construction can resume on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said construction can start again on the $6.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The federal agency had issued an order to suspend the project Aug. 10 after an appeal court voided permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. Once completed, the pipeline will pump natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia and North Carolina.

BCBSNC, UNC Health Care offer free services, delayed bills to those impacted by Hurricane Florence

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and UNC Health Care, among other health care providers, are offering  free services to members impacted by Tropical Storm Florence. Blue Cross is allowing members to delay paying premiums for 30 days through Oct. 13. UNC Health Care waived fees for virtual care services through Sunday night.

Rainfall washes coal ash from Duke Energy’s Sutton plant landfill

An undetermined amount of coal ash from the landfill at Duke Energy’s Sutton Power Plant was released into Sutton Lake due to rains from Tropical Storm Florence. Officials at Duke Energy believe only a small amount of coal ash leaked, and none of the ash escaped from any of Duke’s inactive coal-ash points at the site. The plant is five miles north of downtown Wilmington.

 

Hickory’s Brock Long, head of FEMA, investigated for misusing resources

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating whether Brock Long, administrator of FEMA, misused government resources and personnel by driving back and forth from Washington, D.C. to his Hickory home, two officials told Politico. Long’s routine absences because of frequent six-hour drives between North Carolina and Washington prompted conflict with his boss, Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security.

 

Hurricane Florence will test Duke Energy’s Brunswick nuclear plant’s flood barrier

Hurricane Florence’s power will be the first major test of Duke Energy’s Brunswick nuclear plant’s safeguards installed at the 1,200-acre energy complex. The 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan occurred at a facility that was built during the same time period with the same design as the Brunswick plant. The Brunswick plant is one of around 24 U.S. reactors that still rely on General Electric nuclear technology that dates back to the ’60s.

Lime removes scooters and bikes in Carolinas prior to hurricane

San Francisco-based bike-share company Lime is proactively removing its scooters and bikes from Carolina communities that could be impacted by the hurricane. City officials in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte reached out to Lime and other transportation-share companies such as Calif.-based Bird, asking them to remove scooters and bikes from the cities so they do not become projectiles during the storm.

N.C. Zoo closes through Friday to prepare for hurricane

The North Carolina Zoo shut down operations on Wednesday to prepare the staff and animals for Hurricane Florence. Loose items at the zoo such as banners and tarps have been taken down, and the staff is working with veterinarians to ensure animals continue to receive their food and medication throughout the storm. Officials will make a decision on Friday whether to remain closed longer.

FEI World Equestrian Games still on in Tryon, despite hurricane

One of the world’s largest sporting events, the FEI World Equestrian Games taking place at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, is still on schedule. Officials say there is a “robust” emergency response in place if Hurricane Florence should impact any part of the 13-day event. Tryon is more than 350 miles from mandatory evacuation areas and has a history of being a “safe harbor” for horses during tropical storms.

Hurricane threatens farms, sewage plants

As Hurricane Florence nears, the Category 4 storm is threatening to kill thousands of farm animals and cause huge waste spills at sewage-treatment plants. There is potential risk of flooding and collapse at hog-waste lagoons, poultry farms and coal-ash ponds. Hurricane Matthew caused 11 sewage spills in eastern North Carolina, and thousands of hogs were drowned by floodwaters during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Two industrial projects bringing $22M investment to Concord

Two new industrial projects planned for the I-85 corridor in Concord could bring a combined investment of more than $22 million to the city. Meadows Corporate Park, a $9.9 million industrial park being developed by Fortius Capital Partners, will include two multi-tenant buildings. Griffin Industrial Realty Inc. is constructing two speculative industrial buildings for $12.8 million nearby.

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