Hurricane Florence now blamed for 33 deaths in North Carolina

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Gov. Roy Cooper says death toll in NC at 31 from Florence. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

At least 43 deaths have now been attributed to Hurricane Florence.

North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Keith Acree said Thursday that four additional deaths were reported to the state and occurred in Duplin County. He did not release further details about the deaths.

The death toll in North Carolina stands at 33. The other deaths occurred in South Carolina and Virginia.

In South Carolina, two detainees drowned when a van was swept away in rising floodwaters, authorities confirmed on Tuesday night.

Authorities in Virginia said one person was dead after an apparent tornado, the first fatality attributed to Florence not in the Carolinas.

On Sunday night, the body of a 1-year-old was found in Union County. His mother had escaped her car with him after the vehicle was washed away by floodwaters, but then she lost her grip and the boy was swept away, authorities said.

On Sunday afternoon, Gaston County Commissioner Tracy Philbeck said a 3-month-old child was killed when a tree fell on their home.

In South Carolina, officials are investigating after a man drove into standing water on Pond Branch Road near Gilbert and died.

A husband and wife who died in a Fayetteville house fire are now counted among the dead from Florence.

Two deaths were reported in Duplin County on Saturday afternoon.

The Duplin County Sheriff's Office did not say exactly how the pair died; however, they said their deaths were related to flash flooding and swift water on roadways.

Earlier Saturday, Director of Emergency Services in Carteret County, Stephen Rea, told ABC11 two people died in Harkers Island on Friday morning.

The county later clarified that the two deaths were not related to the storm.

In Wilmington, a 41-year-old woman and her 8-month-old baby were killed after a tree fell on their home after Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas.

On Tuesday, police identified her as Lesha Patrice Johnson.

MORE: Full coverage of Hurricane Florence

The father, Adam Zachary Johnson, 48, was transported to a hospital for treatment. He remains hospitalized in fair condition, Wilmington Police said Tuesday.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm," Cooper said. "Hurricane Florence is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days. Be extremely careful and stay alert."

On Friday, morning, Lenoir County officials said, a 68-year-old man was electrocuted at a home when he attempted to connect two extension cords outside in the rain.

His body was discovered by family members.

Also Friday morning in Kinston, a 77-year-old man was found dead Friday at his home on Middle Street.

It is believed his death was caused when he was blown down by the wind when he went out to check on his hunting dogs.

In Wayne County, an 81-year-old man died when he fell and struck his head while packing to evacuate Friday.

According to Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins, a woman in Hampstead died of a heart attack Friday morning.

Emergency crews were unable to get to her because of a downed tree in the road.

"We are expecting several more days of rain," Cooper said. "Our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger. And then it will shift to putting our communities back together."

In South Carolina, a 61-year-old woman was killed late Friday when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree. Capt. Kelley Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol confirmed to the Associated Press that the death was storm-related.

On Sunday, two more deaths were reported in South Carolina after using a generator inside their home during the storm.

Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard said 63-year-old Mark Carter King and 61-year-old Debra Collins Rion were killed by breathing in carbon monoxide, the Associated Press reports.
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