Death toll from Hurricane Florence rises to 41


Severe flooding from the Northeast Cape Fear River due to the torrential rains from Hurricane Florence is seen in Burgaw, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast. (Matt Born/The Star-News via AP)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Officials say the number of deaths related to Hurricane Florence is now up to 41, with 31 of those deaths occurring in North Carolina. 

North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Keith Acree says four additional deaths were reported Thursday to the state and occurred in Duplin County. He says a 74-year-old man and his 22-year-old granddaughter died Monday of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator that was inside the home.

An 87-year-old woman and her 81-year-old husband also died. Acree said they had been living without power for several days.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper pleaded with thousands of evacuees not to return home just yet, as the many of the homes and roads in the state remain under water almost a week after the storm hit. 

President Donald Trump arrived in storm-ravaged North Carolina on Wednesday and helped volunteers at a church in the hard-hit coastal town of New Bern.

The storm dumped nearly three feet of rain on the state of North Carolina. Many of its road remain treacherous from the flooding caused by swollen rivers. 

Cooper warned that the flooding is far from over and will get worse in places. “I know for many people this feels like a nightmare that just won’t end,” Cooper said.

Addressing roughly 10,000 people who remain in shelters and “countless more” staying elsewhere, Cooper urged them to stay put for now, particularly those from the hardest-hit coastal counties that include Wilmington, near where Florence blew ashore on Friday.

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