The death toll from Hurricane Florence rose to 17 yesterday after a 3-year-old died when a pine tree crashed into a mobile home.
The large pine tree split the mobile home down its center, Police Capt. Jon Leatherwood said. The child was identified as Kade Gill. The boy’s father and mother were home but not hurt.
The boy’s home in Dallas, North Carolina is about 240 miles west of where Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday in Wrightsville Beach.
Officials blamed rain and wind from the storm’s remnants on the falling tree.
The remnants of Florence have pounded Gaston County with heavy rainfall since Friday night. Before Gill’s death, no serious injuries or deaths were reported in the county.
Southeast of Gaston, in Union County last night, officials failed an attempt to rescue a 1-year-old child in a vehicle who was ultimately swept away in floodwaters.
Rescue officials saved an adult who was in the vehicle. Rescue vehicles were driving away from the search area before midnight, indicating they had called off the search. It was not immediately clear whether the search would resume in the morning.
As Florence pushed further inland through the weekend, flash flood watches were posted in Virginia and southern West Virginia. The National Weather Service has issued the watch through Monday evening in several West Virginia counties.