Before that, Trump's trip to Texas after Harvey battered the Houston area generated blowback for his failure to meet with victims of the storm.
Wilmington, population 120,000, was still mostly an island surrounded by floodwaters, and people waited for hours on Tuesday (Wednesdasy NZT) for handouts of food, water and tarps.
Flood waters need to lower before authorities can send inspectors to determine the extent of spills, Michael Regan, leader of the state's environmental agency, said in Saturday's press conference.
Waterkeeper Alliance has conducted overflights at some of the industrial sites and agricultural operations impacted by Florence and is investigating the possible hazards left in the storm's wake.
Cooper's sentiments were echoed by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, who said Friday: "Although the winds are gone and the rain is not falling, the water is still there and the worst is still to come". "Matthew came through ... and now we're faced with Florence", said Jason Jones, a fifth-generation farmer in Craven County.
"We were loading up men, women, children, elderly, pets, law enforcement personnel, rescue personnel", said Knutson, describing the situation as chaotic.
More than 110,000 customers in North Carolina still did not have electricity by Thursday afternoon. Trump said 1.6 million meals have been provided in North Carolina and another 400,000 are ready for victims in SC.
Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state's river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more.
About 25 miles (40 kilometers) nearer to the SC coast, Kevin Tovornik tore out carpet and removed furniture as a preventative measure because he expected flooding at the house he has owned for 20 years in Conway, where the Waccamaw River was still rising. "We want to keep it going that way.
We'll then be heading to South Carolina", Trump told reporters before leaving the nation's capitol on Wednesday. These farms are capable of producing over 78 million gallons of animal waste in one year.
Santee Cooper in SC, a state-owned utility, is placing an inflatable dam around a coal ash pond near Conway, saying the extra 76 centimetres should be enough to keep floodwaters out. Particularly concerning is the continued swelling of the 140-mile long Waccamaw River, which runs through both states. About 10,000 remain in shelters.
The interstate has been closed intermittently to traffic throughout the week as roads flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.