Residents dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence will face mental health issues for years, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday.
Azar told Fox Business that people in North and South Carolina will have to deal with hurdles that are not just physical.
"The mental health issues are the ones that we'll be dealing with in the months and even years ahead," Azar said. "That's where we provide significant support to the state and local authorities there and public health providers for mental health."
Azar added that his department will chip in with "significant grants and expertise to them to assist in providing mental healthcare services, of course deploy our health care professionals, with the FEMA emergency response teams that are there on the ground at the shelters able to provide care and counseling as we speak."
Florence left a trail of destruction from the North Carolina coast, down into South Carolina, and across both states after it made landfall one week ago. Major flooding is plaguing many of the states' rivers, which has resulted in towns being inundated with water as rivers swell well past their normal levels.
More than three dozen deaths have been attributed to the storm as a result of fallen trees and rising flood waters. Some parts of North Carolina, including the city of Wilmington, are cut off from other areas because of floods.
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