The Latest: Highway Patrol IDs man shot, killed by trooper


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina (all times local):

9 p.m.

The N.C. Highway Patrol has released the name of the man shot and killed by a state trooper.

The statement released by the patrol Wednesday night identified the man as 56-year-old Dennis Hunt of Lumberton.

According to the patrol, Sgt. J.F. Hinson and two members of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office were conducting search and rescue operations in Lumberton on Monday when they encountered Hunt.

Authorities say Hunt became hostile toward the officers and displayed a handgun. Hinson saw the handgun and shot the man.

Hinson is a 13-year veteran of the patrol. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. The patrol has requested that the State Bureau of Investigation conduct the shooting investigation.


4:50 p.m.

Gov. Pat McCrory said the death toll in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew has risen to 20.

McCrory told a briefing in Lumberton on Wednesday that the latest death was reported in Lenoir County. He provided no additional details. When asked, McCrory said he didn’t know of any reports of anyone missing.

The governor was visiting one of the areas hit hard by flooding, but he called the residents in Robeson County “the most resilient citizens I have ever met.” He called the county the greatest challenge the state has right now because the utilities are disrupted and there are still people to be rescued.

Also, McCrory said people hoping to travel through the area should avoid Interstate 95 because a portion of the road is flooded, and he suggested finding alternate routes.


3:55 p.m.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture, is asking the ASPCA to deploy its disaster response team to help with animal rescue and sheltering in Lumberton.

Tim Rickey, vice president of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team, said Wednesday that local officials estimate hundreds of animals may be affected in Lumberton. Rickey said his organization will assist the department in sheltering displaced animals in the community and animal rescue requests.

Since last week, the ASPCA said it has assisted nearly 950 animals through pre-evacuation, field rescue, transport and sheltering needs in Georgia and South Carolina.

With forecasts calling for the Lumber River to continue to rise, the ASPCA anticipates requests for assistance will increase.


3:40 p.m.

Officials of Duke Energy say a break has been found in the earthen basin wall surrounding the cooling pond at its H.F. Lee Plant in Goldsboro.

A statement from the utility on Wednesday said there is a 50- to 60-foot break in a corner of the cooling pond, which covers 545 acres. Water is entering the cooling pond from the Neuse River through a spillway, and water is leaving the cooling pond though the opening in the wall.

The cooling pond is a man-made reservoir that was constructed to supply cooling water to the power plant. Duke Energy said that based on the current state of the Neuse River and detailed studies of the area, it expects minimal impact to the river level from water leaving the cooling pond.

The statement also says the active coal ash basin is not affected by the wall break.


6:35 a.m.

North Carolina officials are worried that Hurricane Matthew and the subsequent floods have jeopardized crops in the state.

The News & Observer of Raleigh ( reports that peanuts, soybeans, and cotton are close to harvest, but are threatened by flooded farmland in eastern counties.

Most tobacco was harvested before the hurricane hit, but some of the product is in danger of rotting in barns because power outages have caused disruptions to the curing process.

State Department of Agriculture spokesman Brian Long says it is too early to determine how large any losses will be. He said yields were looking favorable this year before the hurricane hit.

N.C. Peanut Growers Association CEO Bob Sutter says last year was a down year for peanut farmers and another bad season could be “devastating.”


Information from: The News & Observer,