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La Grange woman dies in flood waters; becomes Matthew’s 21st NC victim

A La Grange woman died after she drove her car through barricades and into water Thursday morning, becoming North Carolina’s 21st Hurricane Matthew-related fatality, according to WNCT.

Gov. Pat McCrory said during press conference Thursday morning that his main priorities are stabilizing flooding, continuing recovery and relief efforts in Robeson, Pender and Bladen counties, and getting people out of shelters and back into their homes.

There have been more than 2,300 people rescued from flood waters thus far. Nearly 3,400 people are in 43 shelters, with most coming from Robeson County. There is also 1,083 National Guard still activated.

The 21 storm-related fatalities in North Carolina bring the official U.S. death toll to at least 31 -- with more people waiting to be rescued. McCrory said most deaths were due to drowning but one person died after a vehicle hydroplaned and hit a tree.

Officials say flooding is expected to peak in Edgecombe, Pitt, Bladen, Wayne and Lenior counties within the next 24 hours. They are also monitoring the Lumbee, Cape Fear, Neuse and Tar rivers for cresting. Moore County is under an ongoing evacuation in the Woodlake Dam area.

As of Thursday morning, 59,839 people in the state are still without power.

Numerous major interstates and roads, as well as hundreds of secondary roads, remain closed. Among the major roads that are impacted include:

  • Parts of Interstate 95 remain closed from Lumberton to Fayetteville
  • A 7-mile stretch of Interstate 40 near Newton Grove is closed

To aid in the massive highway infrastructure damage, McCrory says the federal government released $5 million in early release highway funds for repairs.

The latest updates on road closures can be found at, the ReadyNC mobile app or by calling 5-1-1.