Hurricane Florence Death Toll At 14 As Storm Weakens, Still Churns Over Carolinas

Chip SomodevillaGetty Images

The death toll from Hurricane Florence stands at 14, as of this writing, although the number may very well increase as the monster storm continues to dump catastrophic amounts of rain on the Carolinas.

As AOL News reports, the most recent death from the 2018 season’s first major hurricane is that of a South Carolina man, who drowned when his pickup truck flipped into a flooded ditch. Earlier, say officials, two people died of carbon monoxide poisoning after inhaling fumes from a gasoline-powered generator in their home.

As reported by the Inquisitr, the first two lives claimed by Florence were a mother and an infant, who were killed when a tree fell on their home.

Though it has been downgraded to a tropical depression, the threat from Florence remains far from over. As predicted by earlier computer models, Florence stalled once it made landfall, meaning it essentially has been hovering over one spot and dumping near-Biblical amounts of rain.

According to The Weather Channel, some areas have seen as much as 30 inches of rainfall, exceeding rainfall totals dropped on the region by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 or even the historic Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Other areas have received 20 inches of rainfall, breaking longstanding records.

“Five spots have preliminarily topped North Carolina’s tropical cyclone rainfall record: Swansboro (33.90 inches), Hofmann Forest (25.87 inches), Sunny Point (27.22 inches), Nature Conservancy (26.77 inches) and Newport/Morehead City (25.20 inches).”

And the danger is far from over; several rivers and streams in the area are at or nearing flood stage and are expected to spill their banks, possibly flooding local communities.

Meanwhile, some three-quarters of a million customers – homes and businesses alike – are without power in North and South Carolina.

Besides devastating storm surges, sustained winds of over 100 miles per hour, and catastrophic flooding, another problem is now bedeviling homeowners and business owners in the region: looters.

As ABC News reports, at least five arrests have already been made in relation to post-Hurricane looting. At a Dollar General store in Wilmington, five individuals were caught on video allegedly robbing the store. They have since been arrested, according to a statement from Wilmington police.

“Moments ago officers arrested five individuals who broke in and looted the Dollar General at 5th & Dawson Streets. Charges are pending and those details will be released as they become available.”

The remnants of Hurricane Florence continue to track northwestward across the region.

This is a developing story. More information about Hurricane Florence’s death toll will be provided as it is updated.