At least seven people died in North Carolina on Thursday as flash floods swept through parts of the state, authorities said, adding at least two people were missing.
In the state’s Alexander County emergency responders found three bodies and evacuated more than 30 people from a campground, emergency services said.
A fourth person in Alexander County was killed in a car when floodwaters destroyed a bridge and two others were killed in the Iredell County, authorities added. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said a child had drowned in Rolesville.
Five counties in North Carolina declared a state of emergency on Thursday, according to the state’s deputy director of emergency management.
They included Alexander County, where at least four bridges and 50 roadways were breached by floodwaters. The county’s website said that emergency personnel ended the search for missing people around 6 p.m. and will resume at 8 a.m. on Friday.
In Charlotte, rescuers evacuated 143 students after Charlotte Corvian Community School became inundated, the Charlotte Fire Department said.
Electric utility Duke Energy said about 3,100 customers were without electricity across North Carolina as of Thursday afternoon.
North Carolina has been hit by the same weather system as Tropical Storm Eta, with some areas receiving about 10 inches of rain.
Eta drenched Florida’s west coast on Thursday after making landfall north of Tampa Bay with 50 mile-per-hour (80 kph) winds, but the system weakened slightly as it moved across the northeastern part of the state and into the Atlantic.
Eta, the 28th named storm of the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC), made its fourth landfall at around 4 a.m. on Thursday near Cedar Key, Florida, having already slammed Central America, Cuba and the upper Florida Keys.