5 dead after remnants of Michael ravage Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. -- There have been five confirmed Michael-related fatalities in the Commonwealth, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

This includes two fatalities in the Central Region, including Hanover firefighter Lt. Brad Clark, who was killed, and three other firefighters injured after their firetruck was rear-ended on I-295 in Hanover County Thursday night.

There was a confirmed drowning death in Pittsylvania County due to flashing flooding. James E. King Jr., 45, of Dry Fork, Va., was killed when his vehicle got swept away by floodwaters.

There was also another confirmed drowning death in Charlotte County early Friday morning.

Mt. Harmony Road in Charlotte County

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office and State Police responded to a vehicle stranded in high water on a bridge along Mt. Harmony Road.

The three occupants were clinging to the bridge railings. The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office was able to pull a 17-year-old male to safety. The other two, adult occupants were swept away in the rushing floodwaters.

The remains of the adult male were recovered overnight. The search continues for the adult female.

The other two confirmed deaths were in the City of Danville.

Officials with the VDEM are reminding drivers to slow down and not to drive across flooded roadways because flooding causes most storm-related fatalities. “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

(Photo: Virginia State Police)

“The remnants of Tropical Storm Michael continue to impact large portions of the Commonwealth this morning. Flooding, down trees, closed roads, and debris will impact the morning commute and one-half million Virginians are without power this morning,” officials wrote on Facebook.

As of 7 a.m., there were more than 1200 road closures in the state, along with 520,00 power outages. this included more than 130,000 outages in Central Virginia.

The agency also says there were five suspected tornadoes in relation to Thursday’s storms.

Five deaths in Virginia brings the total number of US deaths related to the storm to at least 11.

Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Thursday in preparation for the storm.

For the latest in road conditions and closures, call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org.