There have been eight storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning. Their identities have not been publicly released but some details about the ways in which they died are available.
A mother and infant were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a tree fell on their home. The woman’s husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.
A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.
The body of a 77-year-old man, also in Kinston, was found by his family at his home, and it is believed he died when he was blown down after going outside to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.
Another individual’s death was reported Friday in coastal Pender County though few details are known. A local official said it was a “storm-related medical fatality,” but did not elaborate.
Two individuals, whose names and genders were not released, were reported dead in North Carolina’s Duplin County. The county’s emergency management team reported that the deaths were “due to flash flooding and swift water on roadways.”
The only storm-related death in South Carolina was confirmed by South Carolina Highway Patrol who said that a woman died Friday night after the car she was driving struck a tree.
Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of Florence’s landfall in parts of North and South Carolina, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm.
“Honestly, I’m not sure” why some people refused to follow evacuation orders, David Cotton, county manager for North Carolina’s Onslow County, told “Good Morning America” on Saturday. “More than likely it’s maybe a mindset of ‘we’ve been through this before,'” he said.