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Nearly All NC Storm Victims Caught In Vehicles Swept Away By Flooding

a flooded road after Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge
A truck on the side of a portion of Hwy. 701 about 20 miles from Elizabethtown. The road remained flooded on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.

Emergency officials in North Carolina say at least 20 people have died because of Hurricane Matthew.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Governor Pat McCrory urged drivers to continue following marked detours, as two major interstates and many smaller roadways remain flooded as rivers continue to rise.

"Stay away from the water, whether you are walking or riding in a car," McCrory said. "Do not get near the water. It will kill you."

The storm has claimed a total of 34 lives nationwide.

Related: As Water Pours Toward Sounds, Worst Of Flooding Yet To Come

Almost all the storm victims in North Carolina were in vehicles swept away by flooding. Information from emergency management directors shows 14 of the storm-related deaths involved motor vehicles. The state has not released the names of the victims.

Here's a breakdown of the storm-related deaths:

  • two people were killed Saturday in Bladen County when a car traveled through a washed-out road;
  • one in Sampson County on Saturday when a male driver hydroplaned his vehicle and struck a tree;
  • one in Rowan County on Saturday when a female victim died in a storm-related house fire. No other details were provided;
  • one in Wilson County on Saturday when a vehicle drove into flood waters;
  • one in Pitt County on Sunday when a female drove into standing water;
  • one in Johnston County on Sunday when a vehicle was swept away when the driver went across a flood-covered bridge;
  • one in Johnston County on Sunday when a vehicle traveling through flood waters ran off the road. Three people in the car were rescued and one other person is missing;
  • one in Johnston County on Sunday when a vehicle traveling on Interstate 95 was swept off the road and into Hannah Creek;
  • one in Johnston County when a 51-year-old man walking on Sunday was swept away by floodwaters;
  • one in Harnett County when a male driver drove around a barricade and into flood waters. The state did not release a date for that death;
  • one in Gates County, where the body of a 75-year-old man was located Monday inside a car discovered as flood waters began to recede. The man was considered missing Sunday, with his cellphone's last contact traced to a flood area of N.C. Highway 32 near Gatesville;
  • one man in Wake County who died overnight Monday while heading home from work when a tree fell on his vehicle;
  • one in Wilson County who died overnight Monday in an accident when the victim ended up in a submerged vehicle;
  • one in Cumberland County who died overnight Monday in an accident when the victim ended up in a submerged vehicle;
  • two in Robeson County died due to cars swept away by flood waters;
  • one in Columbus County died due to submerged car in flood water;
  • one in Wayne County died due to car filled with water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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