Hurricane Irene: At Least 18 Dead, Including Two Children

Deaths are results of falling tree limbs and automobile crashes.

August 28, 2011, 8:09 AM

Aug. 28, 2011 — -- Hurricane Irene, which roared up the East Coast before hitting New York City and weakening as it moved into New England, is being blamed for at least 18 deaths, including two children.

One person died in a fire that was caused by wires knocked down by the storm in Prospect, Conn., according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Early today in Pilesgrove, N.J., 20-year-old Celena Sylvestri could not get out of her flooded car and called her boyfriend and then 911 for help. Eight hours later at 9:30 a.m., her body was found in the vehicle, submerged in water, about 150 feet off the road, police said.

A man was electrocuted today when he tried to help a 5-year-old boy who had gone into a flooded street and touched an electrical wire in Spring Valley, N.Y. The child was in very serious condition at Westchester Medical Center's burn unit, said a spokesman for the Rockland County Emergency Operations Center.

A woman was killed when a tree fell on her house and the chimney collapsed in Queen Anne's County, Md. The unidentified woman was taken to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead, according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

Another person in the house was not injured.

Storm-Related Deaths in Virginia

On Saturday afternoon, 67-year-old James Blackwell of Brodnax, Va., died when a tree fell across the car he was riding in. The driver sustained only minor injuries.

A man died in Chesterfield, Va., Saturday night when a tree fell on his house. One of the six other adults inside was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Zahir Robinson, 11, was killed in Newport News, Va., was killed when a tree crashed through his apartment roof Saturday afternoon. His mother, who was in the room with him, was not hurt.

On Saturday night, a man in King William County, Va. was killed when a tree fell on him as he was cutting another tree.

Storm-Related Deaths in Pennsylvania

A man died in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County, Pa. when a tree fell on the tent he was sleeping in outside.

In Luzerne County, Pa. a man in a camper was crushed by a tree. His body was found around 11 a.m. on Sunday by police.

A driver died when he lost control of his car, skidded off the Pennsylvia Turnpike in Carbon County, Pa., and hit a tree.

Storm-Related Deaths in Florida

In Flagler County, Fla., 55-year-old James Palmer, who was on vacation from his New Jersey home, drowned Saturday afternoon in rough surf.

Palmer was at the beach with his wife, daughter and son. He waded out into the surf and his family members lost sight of him.

About 10 minutes later, a surfer found Palmer floating in the water and pulled him to shore, according to the Historic City News.

His wife performed CPR on the beach while they waited for emergency medical services to arrive. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Frederick Fernandez, a 55-year-old high school teacher, died Saturday off New Smyrna Beach, Fla., after he was tossed off his surf board by massive waves and his head hit the sea floor.

He was pulled out of the water with a large gash on his head and pronounced dead shortly after.

Storm-Related Deaths in North Carolina

A Nash County, N.C., man was killed Saturday morning when he went outside to feed his animals and a tree limb fell and crushed him.

In Pitt County, N.C., a man died Saturday after driving through standing water, sliding offroad and crashing into a tree.

Another man in Pitt County was found dead in his home after a tree fell onto his house.

A woman in Sampson County, N.C. died when a tree fell on her car on Saturday morning.

A 15-year-old girl was killed in an automobile accident Saturday afternoon when the SUV she and her family members were in collided with another SUV at an intersection under a blacked-out traffic light. Four other children were ejected from the vehicle. The victim's family was returning to northern Virginia from a vacation in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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