Hurricane Michael's death count rises after Virginia reports several fatalities
Hurricane damage in Mexico Beach, Florida
RICHMOND, Va. - At least 11 deaths have been blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in over 50 years.
On Friday, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management reported five hurricane-related fatalities. The agency also reported 1200 roads hoad been closed and five tornadoes.
Department of Emergency Management spokesman Jeff Caldwell told The Associated Press that four people drowned: three in the western part of the state and a fourth in central Virginia. He says a firefighter also was killed when a tractor-trailer slammed into his fire truck while he was responding to a two-car crash in heavy storm conditions.
The Hanover County Fire-EMS Department identified the firefighter killed as Fire Lt. Brad Clark. They say he died at the scene around 9 p.m. Thursday.
The department said that the fire engine had its lights and other emergency equipment activated, but roads were slick and the storm conditions were heavy. The state medical examiner's office has ruled Clark's death among five storm-related fatalities in the state.
Elsewhere, the sheriff's office in Gadsden County near Tallahassee says it "can now confirm 4 storm-related fatalities following Hurricane Michael," all of which happened "in relation to or occurred during the storm." County officials say they're not releasing names or other details yet while families are notified.
One of those deaths would be a man killed by a falling tree. An 11-year-old girl in Georgia also died when Michael's winds picked up a carport and dropped it through the roof of her grandparents' home. A driver in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell on his car.
Some fear the toll can only rise as rescue teams get around storm debris blocking roads and reach isolated areas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report