The Latest: Officials reduce North Carolina storm death toll

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on severe weather in North Carolina (all times local):

8 p.m.

Officials in North Carolina have revised downward the death toll from this week’s severe weather.

The state’s total initially included an 82-year-old woman in Haywood County whose death was reported by state officials as storm-related. They initially said she died when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages.

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A news release from the governor’s office Wednesday said a review of the woman’s death led officials to remove it from the count, dropping the death toll to two. A statement from the state’s chief medical examiner said it was thought at first to be storm-related based on lack of power to an oxygen concentrator, but that proved not to be correct.

One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County. In Yadkin County a truck driver had gotten stuck along Interstate 77 during the height of the storm Sunday and experienced chest pains after shoveling and died at a local hospital.

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3:37 p.m.

Forecasters say North Carolina can expect heavy rains and a flood threat on the heels of a winter storm that walloped the area.

The National Weather Service issued a statement warning of widespread rainfall starting Friday that could total 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) across much of the state and 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in some places.

Meteorologists say runoff from snowmelt could exacerbate the potential for flooding.

The state was just starting to thaw out from a wintry storm that dumped more than 2 feet (.6 meters) in some pockets of the state. Driving conditions remained challenging through Wednesday morning as melting snow refroze on roads.

WRAL-TV reported that icy patches were suspected as the cause in a dozen crashes Wednesday. No serious injuries were reported in those crashes.

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