McCrory: Storm-related deaths reach 24 in Matthew aftermath - | WBTV Charlotte

McCrory: Storm-related deaths reach 24 in Matthew aftermath

EDGECOMBE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Gov. Pat McCrory gave an update on the recovery efforts and aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina. 

McCrory said the number of storm-related deaths has climbed to 24. 

"When you have coffins drifting, it gets very emotional," McCrory said. 

The governor gave the update after surveying damage in Edgecombe County and the surrounding region Friday. "We're seeing heroic actions," McCrory said of officials in the county.

No lives in Edgecombe County were lost, leaders say, because of the preparations and response to Matthew. 

The governor had better news Thursday, when he reported there were no new deaths overnight. 

RELATED: McCrory: No new storm-related deaths overnight in Matthew aftermath

"We have to do serious engineering assessments," McCrory said Thursday, focusing on structural work of bridges and roads that have been destroyed by flood waters. 

Seventeen counties have disaster declarations for individual assistance and 34 counties for public assistance, McCrory says. He is hopeful other counties will be added to the declaration.

McCrory said his next stop is Columbus County. "A city just got flooded at 6 last night," McCrory said, warning that the destruction is not over. "This is called a natural disaster and it's the most surreal encounter," McCrory said. 

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