Matthew also killed more than 500 people in Haiti last week as it plowed through the Caribbean.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – When Hurricane Matthew dumped torrential rains on North Carolina, thousands of people found themselves suddenly trapped in homes and cars. Three hours later, the center was over Myrtle Beach, with maximum winds just above hurricane threshold at 75 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. The agency warned that floodwater could be charged by downed power lines or could hide unsafe debris.
Up until then, the center, or eye, mercifully stayed just far enough out at sea that coastal communities didn’t feel the full force of Matthew’s winds.
“The rescue teams were expected to be back at work across eastern North Carolina on Tuesday as the deluge rolled downstream toward the Atlantic Ocean”, the wire service writes.
More than 1,700 people have been rescued in North Carolina. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation (drowning), Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said.
Eleven people have died in the state, officials said. Autopsies are pending, he said.
At least 336 people were dead, the head of Haiti’s civil protection services, Marie-Alta Jean Baptiste, told AFP.
“We all pay our taxes”, the governor said, and “we ought to get reimbursed”. “I know some weddings were canceled and it was a huge financial loss for a lot of people”. They say many roads are impassible and others are expected to close.
In addition to the seven deaths in North Carolina, there were four in Florida and three in Georgia.
Some of the South’s most historic cities faced the weakening but still powerful Hurricane Matthew as it plowed north along the Atlantic coast, flooding towns and gouging out roads in its path.
Cotton and peanut crops were most at risk from heavy rains, David Streit, senior lead forecaster at Bethesda, Maryland-based Commodity Weather Group LLC said Friday.
Fourteen people have died in North Carolina as a result of the storm, McCrory said Tuesday.
“There could be some backroads where we had people swept away”.
As relief efforts remain underway, McCrory is cautioning citizens about the prevalence of scams and urging people to only support trusted organizations operating in affected areas.
Counties opened 145 shelters, which housed about 22,000 people Thursday night. The Virginia Aquarium was also shut down, reported Reuters.
Owner Calvin Ratterree says he’s anxious about the powerful storm that’s already drenching parts of the Georgia coast with heavy rains.
One of the cities hardest hit by the flooding was Fayetteville, where National Guard members waded through chest-high waters to save those stranded.
Matthew also brought some of the highest tides on record along the SC coast. But evacuation orders remain in Beaufort, Georgetown, Horry and Jasper counties. You can help pay some of the cost by sponsoring a day on CRO for as little as $100 or by donating any amount you’re comfortable with.
Local officials expect the wreckage to get worse through the next few days, following the pattern of Hurricane Floyd.
Almost a half-million electric customers in SC were left without power, and 250,000 were in the dark in coastal Georgia. Officials told CNN affiliate WCSC the ordnance appeared to be Civil War cannonballs.
The storm’s United States death toll climbed to 21 on Monday, with North Carolina reporting 11 deaths, Florida reporting four, and three each in SC and Georgia.
In Savannah, Georgia, Sue Alice Walker, 85, awoke this weekend to find 3 inches of water flowing inside her home. WRAL-TV showed a dog swimming around floodwaters Saturday.
“The water just has nowhere to go”, he said.
A Tybee Island resident described the moment when the storm hit his home.
Residents of the southeastern coast of North Carolina emerged shaken after two days of intense wind and rain. Tree branches fell, he could hear transformers exploding overnight, and the windows seemed as if they were about to blow in, despite the plywood over them.
Once back home, “walk carefully around the outside of your home to check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage”, the NWS said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott took an aerial tour of the Jacksonville area to survey the destruction.
“We’ve had all sorts of storms before and never had any problems”, he said. We have to do all we can to get every school to reopen because we have to keep our students learning.
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – With helicopters overseeing the rescue operation from above, volunteer firefighters turned their military-surplus truck with 4-foot tires into the dark flood waters, cruising past a mortuary, grocery and homes in part of this city that flooded when a river swollen by Hurricane Matthew overflowed. Meteorologists noted that storm surge went higher than four feet in some areas. As the storm passed one city after another, the reaction was relief that things were nowhere near as bad as many feared. But several communities nearby received extensive damage with water surging down some streets, and massive trees toppled over.
An official vehicle passes along the shoulder of Highway A1A after it was partial washed away by Hurricane Matthew, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in Flagler Beach, Fla.