Death toll rises to eleven

Published 7:22 pm Saturday, April 16, 2011

The death toll has risen to 11 from Saturday’s evening’s weather event.

The body of a missing person was discovered by mid-to-late morning today (Sunday) along a severely impacted area of Morris Ford Road near the Rosemead community of Bertie County.

Prior to that discovery, Bertie County Emergency Management officials had confirmed 10 fatalities due to the storms. All of the deaths were confirmed in the Colerain area. As many as 50 additional individuals were transported and/or treated for injuries.

“We are still in the search and rescue phase at this point,” said Bertie Emergency Management Coordinator Rickey Freeman. “We have rescue teams that have divided the areas and are back on the ground searching.”

There are reports of damage to homes in the areas of Glover’s Crossroads, Morris Ford Road, Buncombe Road, Nowell Farm Road, West Askewville Street, Wakelon Road and Perry’s School Road.

Freeman said an Emergency shelter has been opened at Colerain Elementary School. No one has availed themselves of the shelter thus far, but anyone who has need of it can call 356-2537.

Meanwhile, Hertford County Emergency Management Director Chris Smith reports no deaths and three injuries. The storm left a path of destruction along a stretch of NC 45 just north of Hertford’s border with Bertie. Several homes there were totally destroyed while others suffered major damage.

As of 10 a.m. today, the southwestern corner (the Harrellsville area) of Hertford County was placed under a State of Emergency. That act undertaken by county officials did not enact a curfew nor does it prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Hertford County has teams working the affected areas in order to assess the damage. Several local fire departments are assisting with the clean-up effort.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald will have more on this story as it develops.