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Edgecombe County underwater as death toll climbs


Governor Pat McCrory, along with FEMA, toured some of the damage from flood waters in Edgecombe County Friday as emergency officials continue their efforts to help residents in the area.

After McCrory’s tour of Tarboro, which is about 60 miles east of Raleigh, he confirmed 24 people have died across North Carolina because of Hurricane Matthew’s flood waters.

WATCH: McCrory gives update on Hurricane Matthew relief efforts, flood damage

It is the the governor’s latest stop as he tours areas hard hit by flooding resulting from Hurricane Matthew.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Evacuations in Moore County, Lumberton, Princeville, Kinston, Lenoir County, Vass and Goldsboro

  • A boil water advisory has been issued for parts of Wayne County.

  • A boil water advisory has been lifted for Johnston County, with the following exceptions: Mulberry Road, Parkertown Road, Adams Road, 678-1723 Five Points Road, Shadowwood Road, Three Sisters Drive, Berneze Court, Fred Circle, Millennium Court, Otter Hole Drive, Princeton Kenly Road and Ralph Drive

  • 24 people in North Carolina have died.

  • 3 parts of I-95 remain closed in Fayetteville/Lumberton area due to flooding, 1 part of I-40 near Newton Grove also closed

  • Eastern towns could experience flooding throughout the week.

  • About 18,700 people remain without power across the state

  • Federal disaster declaration received for 34 counties. Declaration also approved 17 counties for individual assistance.
  • Officials are assessing dam overtopping, breaches and failures throughout the state, particularly in Hoke, Moore, and Bladen counties.

McCrory says 24 people in North Carolina have died because of the storm, almost all of them have been vehicle-related deaths.

The total death toll is expected to rise when water recedes from flooded roads.

The latest deaths were in Lenoir County and Cumberland County. The governor did not elaborate on how the latest victims died.

A man in Robeson County died after he fell into a hole created by a fallen tree. McCrory said another death is under investigation.

Get the latest breaking news updates on the ABC11 news app

At a Thursday morning news conference, McCrory said as he’s toured the hardest hit areas, it’s clear to him that it’s the poorest of the poor in North Carolina who have suffered the most as flood water has inundated neighborhoods, severely damaging homes and ruining cars.

He asked the nation to dig into its pockets to help out.

“These people have nothing. Nothing. And if you want to help, now is the time to help these people,” he said. “They are sitting right now in high school gyms. There are whole families.”

McCory said the state has activated the NC Disaster Relief Fund in partnership with the United Way.


If you have items to donate like water or clothes, dial 211 and someone will direct you on where to go.

Edgecombe County officials announced Friday that a donation center is open through Saturday in Tarboro for hurricane victims.

They are still working out distribution plans to get items to residents, and say they’ll take anything – but they are especially in need of laundry pods and cat litter.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army are partnering with the county to help the donation center.


While some areas are beginning to recover from the flooding, other areas are about to be hit. The Neuse River at Kinston is forecast to crest at record level on Friday night.

WATCH: Governor Pat McCrory’s Thursday afternoon briefing in Kinston

The Tar River crested late Wednesday night in the Tarboro/Princeville area. The floodwaters are now moving toward Greenville, which should see the Tar River crest Friday.

McCrory said the flooding – which he estimated at 10 feet deep in places – may be worse than Lumberton is experiencing farther south.

“I’d like to let the people of Princeville know that we will be with you and we will do everything we can to help rebuild your city,” McCrory said Thursday. “We will also take steps to ensure that this type of disaster never happens again.”

Wilmington, near where the Cape Fear River meets the coast, is bracing for flooding in its downtown this weekend.


McCrory said dozens of roads across the state remain damaged and closed. I-40 is blocked near Newton Grove and I-95 is blocked between Lumberton and Fayetteville.


He cautioned that even after the water recedes, it will take time to do engineering assessments on roads and bridges to make sure they’re safe to reopen. The federal government has released $5 million in emergency funds for road repair.

For people stuck in shelters, McCrory said the state is working with Walmart to get long-term prescriptions to people who need their medicine.


The goal is to get people in shelters into hotels and rental property while their homes are flooded or remain too damaged inhabit. Some will be moved to long-term FEMA housing when it becomes available.

McCrory said pumps have been brought in to help draw down the water in Lake Surf so that people who live below the Woodlake Dam now under an emergency evacuation in Moore County can return to their homes. He didn’t have a time frame for how long that might take.

RELATED: Evacuations ordered after threat of Woodlake Dam failure

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