WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Six people have died in Duplin County as a result of Hurricane Florence.
Four deaths involved adults who washed away in flash flooding incidents at the beginning of the storm. Two more deaths involved people who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace, fumes from generators on the back porch entered the house killing the victims and one of them was a teenager.
The biggest threat in the county is the rising level of the Northeast Cape Fear River which had already crested Tuesday morning, Wallace said.
Interstate 40 from Wallace to Raleigh is open for travel, but flooding has closed the interstate between Wallace and Wilmington.
The county is operating three shelters for evacuees and will open more if necessary, Wallace said.
Duplin County Emergency Services is being assisted by the National Guard and FEMA.
“Residents need to remain patient as it will likely take days, if not weeks, for power to be fully restored throughout the county,” Wallace said.
Starting Tuesday, the sheriff’s office will begin water distribution at 10 locations across the county.
So far, there have been numerous water rescues with assistance from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office’s Swift Water Rescue Unit.
“If someone is stranded by floodwaters and needs assistance, they should call 911 and seek higher ground in a top floor or on their roof until help arrives,” Wallace said. “If they see the water rising, they need to call immediately so we can get them evacuated.”