Hurricane Florence linked to 31 deaths in NC, including eight in tiny Duplin County

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Hurricane Florence is now blamed for 31 deaths in North Carolina, including eight in Duplin County, according to the state.

Deaths linked to the storm now total 41, including eight in South Carolina and two in Virginia.

North Carolina’s deaths include three children — a 7-month-old in New Hanover County, a 3-month-old in Gaston County and a 1-year-old in Union County.

In Duplin County, a rural county with less than 60,000 people that lies west of Jacksonville and north of Wilmington, four people died in vehicles caught in flood waters over the weekend.

On Monday, a 74-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning inside a home in the county.

Officials also announced that an 87-year-old woman and her 81-year-old husband died in the county. The woman died from exacerbation of her COPD due to a lack of electricity, and her husband died after learning of his wife’s death in a house without power for several days.

Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday morning over Wrightsville Beach. It brought several days of heavy rains to eastern North Carolina with more than 35 inches falling in some places, leading to widespread flooding. More than 90,000 people remain without power in North Carolina, according to the state’s Department of Public Safety.

The deaths have been attributed to, in part, house fires, motor vehicles crashes, submerged vehicles, falling trees and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The state’s breakdown of deaths, by county:

• Anson: 1

• Cleveland: 2

• Columbus: 2

• Cumberland: 2

• Duplin: 8

• Gaston: 2

• Lenoir: 2

• New Hanover: 2

• Onslow: 1

• Pender: 1

• Roberson: 1

• Rutherford: 1

• Sampson: 2

• Scotland: 1

• Union: 2

• Wayne: 1