LUMBERTON — Hurricane Matthew became a killer in Robeson County today, taking the life of a man who apparently drowned at a gasoline station on West Fifth Street this morning.
In addition, as many as four people are missing and that number is likely to rise as rescue efforts are continuing countywide.
Charles Britt, a 76-year-ol Lumberton resident who lived on West Fifth Street, died when he fell into some water at a store at Exit 17.
His son-in-law, Bruce Mullis, a Lumberton banker, and Britt’s daughter, Barbara, an employee at the Sheriff’s Office, were en route to pickup Britt and his wife Wanda when they learned of his death. Bruce Mullis said the family believes he might have had a heart attack, as he was on oxygen but had been without since power was lost.
Lumberton rescue people were able to get to his body.
Britt is at least the ninth person the hurricane has killed in North Carolina.
According to Kellie Blue, the finance officer for the county who is providing information to the public, three of the missing people were in two separate vehicles on N.C. 211. Blue said two girls were in one vehicle that is missing, and a woman is missing after her husband was rescued from a truck on N.C.211 but she was not.
Additionally, there was a truck on Smith Mill Pond Road that went missing and is believed to have been occupied by at least one person.
None of the names of those missing were being released.
Blue is working out of a command center on Legend Road, near the county jail that is working around the clock