The death toll from Michael — the former Category 4 hurricane that is now a post-tropical cyclone — jumped to 11 after Virginia officials reported five more fatalities tied to the storm.
By early Friday morning, the storm was about 65 miles northeast of Norfolk, Va., with top sustained winds of 60 mph, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
It was threatening to spark flash floods and inflict wind damage to parts of North Carolina and the southern Mid-Atlantic still recovering from last month’s Hurricane Florence.
Almost 1.1 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia early Friday. Officials did not immediately provide more details on the Virginia deaths.
By late Thursday, authorities in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina attributed at least six deaths to the once-in-a-generation storm, but officials worried that still more victims would be found in its wake, The Washington Post reported.
Michael, which moved off the US coast over the Atlantic overnight, made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as the most powerful hurricane on record to strike the area.
In Florida, officials reported four deaths related to the storm, including a man who was killed when a tree crashed through the roof of his home in Greensboro.
The Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office reported three other “storm-related fatalities following Hurricane Michael” — although it did not immediately provide details.
A 38-year-old motorist also was killed by a massive tree in Statesville, NC, and 11-year-old Sarah Radney of Georgia was killed when a metal carport struck her in the head as she hunkered down in her Seminole County home.
The number of people in emergency shelters was expected to increase to 20,000 across five states by Friday, American Red cross spokesman Brad Kieserman said.
With Post Wires