As Ian’s winds and rains leave North Carolina and the work of cleanup and power restoration is underway, Governor Roy Cooper cautions residents to be safe during cleanup work, as four deaths have been reported related to the storm.
“The storm has passed, but many hazards remain with downed trees, downed power lines and power outages,” said Governor Cooper. “We mourn with the families of those who have died and urge everyone to be cautious while cleaning up to avoid more deaths or injuries.”
Four people have died in storm related incidents since Friday morning:
- A 25-year-old man died Friday when he lost control of his vehicle on Raleigh Road in Johnston County and hydroplaned into another vehicle in stormy conditions
- A 24-year-old woman died when her vehicle went off a wet road in Clayton and struck a tree Friday afternoon
- A 22-year-old man drowned in Martin County when his truck left the roadway and submerged in a flooded swamp Friday night
- A 65-year-old man in Johnston County died Saturday from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator running in his closed garage while the power was out. His wife was hospitalized.
During power outages, generators should always be used out of doors, and away from the home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas generated by combustion from a gasoline engine or other fuel burning source. Gas or charcoal grills should never be used indoors, and cars should not be left running in a closed garage, for the same reasons.
Thousands of utility crews are working on power restoration, and as of 1 p.m. Saturday, about 210,000 customers remained without power. The statewide power outage count peaked at about 418,000 just after 11 p.m. Friday.
The State of North Carolina requested a federal emergency declaration Friday afternoon and it was granted early Saturday by President Biden and FEMA. The emergency declaration provides federal recovery support and reimbursement for emergency protective expenses incurred by state and local governments during the storm. Damage assessments that are beginning now will determine if Ian’s effects in North Carolina qualify for further federal assistance.