Police ID local woman who drowned during Tropical Storm Florence

Local News
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UPDATE: A body discovered in the Roanoke River near Wiley Drive in Roanoke is being counted as a Hurricane Florence death.

According to VDEM, the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has attributed the drowning death of a body found in Roanoke this week to Hurricane Florence.

This brings the fatality total to 4 for Florence, while the number of deaths due to Hurricane Michael remains at 6.

Roanoke Police identified the woman as Betty “Susie” Fitzgerald Britt, 53, Roanoke.

Britt was reported missing October 5.

Roanoke Police said the Medical Examiner’s Office determined her cause of death to be accidental drowning.


Swift Water Rescue crews were on scene around noon working to retrieve the body. 

According to police, the body was found during the cleanup efforts following the flood associated with Hurricane Michael. 

They have recovered “apparent human remains”. 

The remains have been sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office for identification and determination of the cause of death. 

The investigation is ongoing.

“I feel really sad for the family of the person,” said Denise Hesser, who lives nearby.

“I’m concerned about the homeless people in this area because they are out at all times of night, it’s not always safe.”

She’s not surprised a body had been found, “because of the power of the Roanoke River, of course, there is no way to know what happened to that person at this point.”

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