Eight Storm-Related Deaths

More than 100 people have been rescued Friday by swift water rescue and Helo-aquatic rescue teams in three Eastern Carolina counties.

The state Division of Emergency Management says those teams have pulled numerous people from vehicles and homes since early Friday morning in Bertie, Beaufort and Hertford counties.

So far there have been eight storm-related deaths reported. All of those have been vehicle crashes. Five family members died after their vehicle hydroplaned Thursday and overturned in a canal ditch along U.S. 64 in Washington County. One death was reported in Pamlico County Thursday and two more were reported in Dare County Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it rescued two stranded motorists, and helped in a third Friday morning in Hertford County.

The Coast Guard says a rescue helicopter crew from Elizabeth City safely hoisted a man off the back of his submerged pick-up truck outside of Ahoskie. Several minutes later the helicopter hoisted a second man from the water. The helicopter then landed on a nearby road and transferred the man to an ambulance.

In the third rescue, a woman motorist's car washed off Highway 561 and into a forest. Because of the thick trees, the helicopter could not assist the woman who was heard calling for help. The Northampton County Swift Water Response Unit eventually helped that stranded woman.

Governor Beverly Perdue has declared a state of emergency because of the flooding.

Emergency management says ground access to Bertie County is extremely limited with many areas completely surrounded by water. Shelters have been opened in Beaufort, Craven, Duplin, Hertford, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow and Pender counties.


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