Two people have died in Florence County as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken Sunday afternoon said both deaths occurred Saturday.
Statewide, at least three people died in hurricane-related deaths. The total U.S. death toll is at least 17, more than half in North Carolina.
The first Florence County incident happened Saturday morning and the body was found Saturday afternoon. The second happened Saturday night and the body was recovered Sunday morning.
Deputies from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office Saturday recovered the body of a man from his vehicle that had been swept about 100 yards downstream by floodwaters on Old River Road near Jefferies Creek Road, Maj. Mike Nunn said in a news release Sunday.
The second victim was recovered by members of the sheriff’s office dive team from his submerged car at a bridge washout on National Cemetery Road near Fire Tower Road, according to Nunn’s release.
The coroner said his office was working to notify family members and that he would release additional information on the deaths.
One of the victims, he said, was a motorist whose car was swept off Old River Road in an incident that washed out about 40 feet of the road, von Lutcken said.
The coroner said people should stay off area roads, which are dangerous during the day and double so once the sun has set because of flooding, washouts and fallen trees and other debris.
“Driving our roadways right now at any time of the day is treacherous. At night it is deadly,” said Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone through the news release.
“We are urging everyone to stay off the roads until work and recovery crews can remove fallen trees, downed power lines and other debris,” Boone said. “Only then can they inspect bridges and overpasses to make sure they are safe for travel and restore electrical power.”
A curfew is in effect in Florence County from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.