North Carolina senator: Damage from Florence 'in the billions of dollars'

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North Carolina Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSunday shows preview: Trump faces fallout after Manafort flips Live coverage: Trump court pick on the hot seat in day two of hearing Patient groups say GOP bill on pre-existing conditions is insufficient MORE (R) on Sunday said that damage from Hurricane Florence will likely cost the state “billions of dollars.”

Tillis said on “Fox News Sunday” that Florence, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, “is likely going to produce impacts greater than Hurricane Matthew.”

Tillis said the state has not fully recovered that storm, which hit about two years ago.

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Tillis also said Florence will damage the state’s agriculture industry and that the worst devastation from the storm may be yet to come, saying that “the floods that come midweek are likely to be as damaging or more damaging than the original event.”

“We’ve got to sort all that out,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say in terms of economic impact, rebuilding, that we are talking in the billions of dollars.”

Tillis added that it’s “very difficult to say” when life will return to normal in North Carolina.

There have so far been 14 deaths as a result of Florence: 11 in North Carolina and three in South Carolina.

Florence is expected to continue to drop heavy rainfall on the Carolinas in the coming days in addition to Virginia and West Virginia. 

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