The death toll from Hurricane Florence has risen to 32 as the now post-tropical cyclone continues to inundate parts of the east coast.
Officials on Tuesday raised the death toll from the previously reported 20 deaths to 32, according to CBS News, with 25 of those deaths resulting from the storm's devastation in North Carolina, six in South Carolina, and one in Virginia.
The death toll rose Monday when search and rescue teams in North Carolina discovered the body of 1-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch, who "was swept away in rushing waters from Richardson Creek," according to the Union County Sheriff's Office. The incident occurred after the toddler and his mother became trapped in their vehicle amid rising flood waters. While the unnamed mother managed to free herself and Kaiden from his car seat, she "lost her grip on him in the rushing water."
The remainder of the deaths have resulted from drownings, electrocutions, carbon monoxide poisoning, and falling trees, such as the deaths of a mother and her infant, who were killed after a tree fell on their North Carolina home.
Although Florence is forecast to "weaken while it accelerates northeastward across the Mid-Atlantic and New England," the storm, which made landfall as a category 1 hurricane, has brought heavy rainfall, with some totals reaching over 30 inches, and high storm surges. The sheer amount of water has caused rivers to overflow their banks, making roads impassable and flooding entire neighborhoods, leaving hundreds of thousands trapped.
"We are going to have to be smart about recovery and long-range planning. As we approach recovery will need to work on mitigation and buyouts, make sure we involve local, state and fed officials," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. "Immediate concern is pulling people out of water."
Thousands of members of the National Guard and active duty members have been brought in to aid with rescue efforts, with forces having been "proactively" positioned prior to the storm in preparation for responses "by air, by sea and by land."
Florence has since been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, though forecasters have warned that it is still expected to bring heavy rains and sustained winds of 25 mph. They have also warned that flash flooding and tornadoes are possible as far north as Pennsylvania.
If you would like to donate to relief efforts, you can do so by texting FLORENCE to 20222 or by checking out the number of other ways to help the relief efforts.