Elderly Columbus man dies while preparing home for hurricane

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY/AP) — North Carolina emergency officials are reporting the first death in the state related to Hurricane Dorian.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that an 85-year-old man from Columbus County died from injuries when he fell off a ladder as he was trying to prepare his home for the approaching storm. The state emergency operations center didn’t have the man’s name, but a spokesman said he died Monday at a hospital in nearby Fayetteville.

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Cooper warned the public at a news conference about the threat of flash flooding, storm surge and more than a foot of rainfall as Dorian arrives Thursday along the southeastern coast. The governor already has ordered evacuations on the state’s fragile barrier islands.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.