Death toll from Florence rises after 3-month-old dies when tree falls on home

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The death toll from Hurricane Florence and its remnants has risen to 17 as officials say a 3-month-old died in North Carolina when a tree landed on a mobile home.

Gaston County manager Earl Mathers said in an email to commissioners the tree fell on a mobile home Sunday in Dallas, about 240 miles west of where Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday in Wrightsville Beach.

County spokesman James McConnell confirmed to The Associated Press that officials believe the tree fell because of the rain and wind from the storm’s remnants.

A dam overflowed and parks have become submerged in water as unrelenting rain brought by Tropical Depression Florence came down on Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the surrounding area.

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – SEPTEMBER 16: Flood waters from Hurricane Florence surround a house and flow along the street on September 16, 2018 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Rain continues to inundate the region causing concern for large scale flooding after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina and South Carolina area. The storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Water on the Cape Fear River, which passes through Fayetteville, continued to rise Sunday, and according to the National Weather Service had reached more than 44 feet by 6 p.m. The river continues its slow climb to a predicted crest at 62 feet (18.9 meters) Tuesday, prompting a mandatory evacuation for areas within 1 mile of the river.

Just south of Fayetteville, water spilled over the top of the recently constructed Hope Mills Dam, which blocks Rockfish Creek, a tributary of the Cape Fear River.

Fayetteville resident Charles Jockers says the slow rise may lull people into complacency. He says Despite the evacuation order, in-town traffic has been increasing over the last few days.

**Read more on Florence, here**