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Aerial view of a hog farm after the passing of Hurricane Florence in eastern North Carolina on Sept. 17. Photo by Rodrigo Gutierrez/Reuters

3.4 million chickens, 5,500 hogs dead in Florence flood

State officials in North Carolina now say 3.4 million chickens and 5,500 hogs have been killed in flooding from Florence. The former hurricane swamped dozens of farm buildings where the animals were being raised for market.

Officials previously had estimated that about 1.7 million chickens had drowned and that the number of potential hog deaths was unknown.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture issued the mortality totals as major flooding continues in the state due to the storm’s drenching rains.

Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday.

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