NC deaths from Florence up to 32 after tree falls on man

Eye On The Storm

A submerged truck sits in floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Nichols, S.C., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Virtually the entire town is flooded and inaccessible except by boat, just two years after it was flooded by Hurricane Matthew. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Officials said Friday night that the number of those killed in North Carolina from Florence has increased to 32.

The overall number is now at 43 with nine deaths were reported in South Carolina and two in Virginia.

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Well over half of those killed were in vehicles, according to authorities.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper said a 46-year-old man in Brunswick County died when a tree he was cutting fell on him Friday. Brunswick County is located south of Wilmington.

Meanwhile, state transportation officials are reiterating that travel remains dangerous in 17 southeastern North Carolina counties where hundreds of roads remain closed and the threat of rising floodwaters continues in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

The number of closures on N.C. Department of Transportation roads dropped Friday to 650 from a peak of 1,600 on Monday. Yet the Lumber, Cape Fear and Neuse river basins will see floodwaters crest through the weekend and into next week.

The department, the N.C. Highway Patrol and emergency officials are urging motorists not to travel in the state’s 17 worst-hit counties where many roads are still under water.

The affected counties are Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and Wayne. Motorists are advised not to travel in the area south of U.S. 70 and east of U.S. 1 unless it is critical.

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