T.S. MICHAEL: One dead in state, thousands of people without power

Published: Oct. 10, 2018 at 10:50 AM EDT
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There has been at least one confirmed death in the state due to Tropical Storm Michael.

Iredell County's emergency management director says a man died when his car was struck by a tree on a highway east of Statesville.

Dozens of swift water rescues have taken place in the western part of the state, while hundreds of thousands of people are without power.

Henderson County emergency services director Jimmy Brissie said first responders have been busy since the early morning helping people in cars trapped in high water and residents who need help leaving low-lying areas.

He said about 20 people were pulled out of neighborhoods inundated by flash flooding. He said he's not aware of any injuries.

McDowell County emergency services director Adrienne Jones said a landslide closed a road, and a swift-water rescue crew pulled a man to safety in Buncombe County. In Asheville, two people in a hammock who found themselves surrounded by floodwater were pulled onto an inflatable boat.

At 4:30 p.m. there were 392,422 homes and businesses without power across the state.

Governor Roy Cooper says 119 roads are closed because of Michael, and up to seven inches of rain has fallen in some parts of the state.

"For some of the families, business owners, farmers, and communities recovering from Florence -- Michael makes the job harder." said the governor. "We know Michael is moving quickly and should clear out sometime tomorrow. So let's be on guard, and let's stay safe, so we can get back to the work of rebuilding North Carolina."

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Governor Roy Cooper has put all 100 counties under a State of Emergency and has activated the National Guard ahead of Hurricane Michael.

The Category 4 storm is expected to hit the Florida panhandle this afternoon before tracking through Georgia and into the Carolinas.

Cooper says the coast could get tropical storm force winds and some parts of the state receive up to seven inches of rain.