Justin Cook for Earthjustice

The Storm Moved on, But North Carolina’s Hog Waste Didn’t

Earthjustice and our partners are working to prevent future hog waste floods in the area hit hardest by Hurricane Florence.

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.

Hurricanes are becoming more commonplace in the southeastern United States — since 1999, at least four hurricanes and tropical storms have brought enough precipitation to North Carolina to qualify as “100-year” storms. There is barely time to rebuild and recover before the next storm hits.

“A lot of people are still displaced, a lot of people still aren’t sure what tomorrow is going to hold,” said Devon Hall, co-founder of the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH) in Duplin County. “What is normalcy? When we look at the frequency of these storms now, it just keeps happening over and over again.”

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