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The wrath of Fran // More deaths occur inland, not on coast

Hurricane Fran will keep on killing for a few more days.

The death toll from the storm's strike in the Carolinas may climb as isolated areas are reached and as Virginians deal with deadly flash floods.

In addition, injuries and more fatalities may result as people have accidents using dangerous and unfamiliar equipment during cleanup.

But while each death represents a tragedy, the numbers are nothing like the old days. When Hurricane Camille slammed into the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969, for example, 256 people died, most in the powerful surge of water that accompanied the storm. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel left 95 dead in the Carolinas.

Today, drowning is no longer the major cause of death from storms, according to the national Centers for Disease Control. Today better warning systems empty coastal areas of people _ most of them, anyway _ before big storms make landfall.

But plenty of danger remains inland.

A partial list of the fatalities includes:

A woman killed near Conway, S.C., when her car lost control in water and struck a tree.

A man killed in Andrews, S.C., when his car hit a fallen tree.

A woman killed in northeast of Wilmington, when a tree fell on her trailer, trapping her inside during the storm.

Two men killed near Wake County, N.C., when their truck hit a downed tree.

Two killed in Durham County, N.C., a motorist and a firefighter, when a tree fell on a fire truck.

A resident of Johnston County, N.C., killed when a tree fell on a house.

A 13-year-old boy in Alamance County, N.C., killed when a tree fell on a house.

Four others in North Carolina, one of them apparently a Marine who drowned.

A woman in Highland County, Va., who died when she tried to cross a flooded creek in an all-terrain vehicle.

A man in Fairfax County, Va., killed when his car slammed into a tree that fell into the highway.

Two flood-related deaths in West Virginia, including a man whose vehicle was stranded and he was swept away by floodwaters and drowned.

Officials reported more fatalities inland than near the coast, which didn't surprise longtime area resident Bruce Cartier. Along the coast, people take the storms seriously, he said. "I guess inland they just haven't learned to respect the wind and they don't see it coming."

_ Times staff writer Monica Davey contributed to this story.