Hurricane Florence may have been downgraded to a tropical storm, but it still had enough of an impact to devastate South and North Carolina.
The death toll recently rose to 14 after a South Carolina couple died after the storm made landfall on Friday. WLTX reports that Mark Carter King, 63, and Debra Collins Rion, 61 died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The couple was using a generator during the storm, which caused the carbon monoxide poisoning. A 23-year-old man died during the storm in a car crash while a 61-year-old woman died after her car was struck by a tree, Washington Post reports. A seven-month-old and his 41-year-old mother also died after a tree fell on their home. A 78-year-old man died in North Carolina after being electrocuted during the storm. A couple in North Carolina died in a house fire while an 81-year-old man fell while trying to evacuate.
The storm is currently targeting Columbia, South Carolina and is moving at 35 miles per hour. Eastern West Virginia and North Carolina should expect heavy rain, as there has been 20 inches of rain in several areas, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm, which started out as a Category 4, is now a Category 1, and is still leaving southern states concerned about the massive flooding. In New Bern, North Carolina the flooding forced 1,200 residents into shelters. Across the state of North Carolina, 15,000 people are staying in 150 shelters. The flooding is expected to cause rivers to reach all-time highs and landslides as the storm moves into the Appalachian mountains.
“This storm has never been more dangerous than it has right now,” Gov. Roy Cooper said today (Sept. 16) at a news conference. “Wherever you live in North Carolina, be on alert for sudden flooding.”
Unfortunately, Florence is expected to worsen in the next few days.
“We know that’s going to be a major mission going forward, because this is historic and unprecedented flooding,” Michael Sprayberry, North Carolina’s director of emergency management, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “This is one that’s for the record books. As you know, we’re actually still recovering from Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016, so it will be a massive, long term recovery.”