Health

Tragic: Baby Swept from Mother’s Arms in the Rushing Waters of Florence

Child's body is found Monday, bringing death toll higher as the crisis in the Carolinas continues

Image Credit: Union County Sheriff's Office, Facebook

Emergency workers found the body of Kaiden Lee-Welch, a one-year-old boy swept away Sunday in the rushing waters caused by Tropical Storm Florence in Union County, North Carolina, as The Charlotte Observer reported.

Detectives from the Union County sheriff’s office believe the child (pictured above left) was lost when his mother, headed toward Wadesville, North Carolina, drove around barricades — only to encounter rushing water flowing across the road; her car somehow left the roadway, coming to rest in a group of trees.

The woman was reportedly able to free herself and her son, who was in a car seat, but the mother then lost her grip on her child in the rushing water.

Little Kaiden’s passing now brings the devastating storm’s death toll to 18. Authorities said a three-month-old child was also killed when a tree fell on a mobile home in North Carolina, and three more have died in weather-related traffic accidents, according to officials.

Related: Firefighters Pause to Pray After Mother and Child Die from Florence’s Wrath

The storm left more than 300,000 people without power in North Carolina as of early Friday morning, with strong winds and heavy rains pounding the region.

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As more than a million people faced mandatory evacuation orders while Florence rumbled toward the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina last week, many opened their homes to others in need.

In recent days, Facebook groups such as “Hurricane Florence 2018” and “Hurricane Florence Lodging for Evacuees” have dozens of posts from people and organizations offering shelter to those fleeing the storm, as CNN reported.

A Nashville-based pet rescue organization, too, made a trip to South Carolina to save about 30 dogs and cats from shelters in the storm’s path that were vulnerable.

A team from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue drove more than 20 hours to retrieve the animals at a shelter on Pawleys Island, according to CNN.

Other states are responding to the crisis in the Carolinas: Police, firefighters, and emergency personal from all over Florida are currently in the Carolinas to help support local rescue crews dealing with the devastating effects of the storm.

Related: Firefighters Pray for Mother and Baby Killed by Florence’s Wrath

“There’s a lot of flooding in front of the houses,” Beesan Mustafa, a member of Pasco County, Florida’s Fire and Rescue team told local Fox News 13 on Sunday evening.

“There’s wires down, and tree branches down blocking the road. You are really hard-pressed to drive a few miles down the road and not see crews out there cutting stuff and trying to make a way.”

Robeson County, North Carolina, officials announced Sunday that buses would evacuate residents from the towns of Pembroke and Lumberton, reported The News & Observer.

Emergency officials and volunteers were working throughout Sunday morning to hold back the rising Lumber River, which was overflowing its berm and sandbags — but had not breached the levee.

But by Sunday night, the levee had fallen.

RESCUE MISSION STATUS – NC 218Search and rescue teams spent several hours last night searching for the missing one…

Posted by Union County Sheriff's Office, Monroe, NC on Monday, September 17, 2018

See more on the storm’s devastation in the video below.

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