Tropical Storm Florence batters Carolinas; 12 deaths reported

APTOPIX Tropical Weather North Carolina_1537059205347

A sailboat is shoved up against a house and a collapsed garage Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, after heavy wind and rain from Florence, now a tropical storm, blew through New Bern, N.C. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

At least 12 were killed in storm-related incidents in North and South Carolina, authorities said. The latest death involves two people who died in a house fire in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Officials said firefighters were unable to quickly enter the building due to the storm. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

In Wayne County, an 81-year-old man died Friday after falling and striking his head while he was packing to evacuate.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is warning residents in the southwest part of the state to prepare for flooding and possible landslides early next week from the remnants of Florence. The state so far has been spared from severe hurricane impacts, but the southwest portion of the state is expecting up to 12 inches of rain.

Northam said in a news release Saturday that emergency management officials are working to move people and commodities into place to prepare for flooding, including swift water rescue teams. Says Northam: “Now is not the time to let our guard down.”

Emergency officials in Virginia have also deployed 25 high-wheeled vehicles and 50 personnel to help with rescue operations in North Carolina.

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