Hurricane Matthew's effects linger in soaked North Carolina

  • Hurricane Matthew's effects linger in soaked North Carolina

Hurricane Matthew's effects linger in soaked North Carolina

Speaking at a political fundraiser in Chicago, Obama said he had spoken with the governors of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, and he told residents of those states: "We've got your back". There are now reports of 10 deaths in the USA as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

Matthew made landfall just to the north-east of Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday bringing with it widespread and locally record breaking flooding and destructive winds overnight.

As of early Sunday afternoon, the AP reported, "The death toll in the USA climbed to at least 16, almost half of them in North Carolina".

And Florida, the first state thrashed by Matthew, still had 169,000 customers without power Monday, Gov. Rick Scott's office said. "We are blessed that we didn't have a direct hit".

Matthew, which days ago briefly topped out as a ferocious category 5 storm, made US landfall Saturday near McClellanville, S.C., a village 30 miles north of Charleston.

The declaration provides federal aid to supplement state and local governments responding to Hurricane Matthew.

As the hurricane began making its exit, it looked as if forecasters had gotten it right.

The eye of Hurricane Matthew continues northward, located just off the coast of Georgia. Forecasters defended the large-scale evacuations. "You're dealing with just massive amounts of water", he said.

In Savannah, Georgia, a historic town of moss-draped squares and antebellum mansions, floodwaters several feet deep submerged a long stretch of President Street, which links downtown to the highway to Georgia's Tybee Island.

The shivering woman made it to the water's edge.

On Sunday, a Coast Guard helicopter rescue team hoisted eight people to safety after rising floodwaters stranded them on rooftops. And North Carolina officials said they had to rescue numerous people from cars and homes.

In Charleston, as the storm churned closer, the water level at low tide was 6 feet above normal, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston, and Mayor John Tecklenburg warned that the biggest danger would come at high tide around 1 p.m. ET.

Hurricane Matthew's effects linger in soaked North Carolina
Hurricane Matthew's effects linger in soaked North Carolina

But many who stayed to ride out the Category 2 hurricane were surprised the damage wasn't far worse.

Leigh Webber was out Friday morning under gray skies in a steady breeze walking along the Charleston Battery seawall. "I've done a lot of praying the last two, three days".

South Florida largely dodged major impacts after the storm shifted east as it neared Andros Island in the Bahamas Thursday. Authorities reported four more fatalities Tuesday - three motorists washed away by flood waters and a man whose auto was struck by a tree. Generators and stop signs were placed at numerous intersections where traffic lights lacked power. "It is important to me to make sure that we take care of each other when and where necessary but especially in the face of adversity or times of crisis. If I get flooded again, I'm going to say, 'It's yours, I'm gone'". "That's what I'm afraid of".

All access points to Georgia's St. Simons Island from the mainland were blocked. Tybee Island also took a beating, with gusts clocked at 93 miles per hour.

Three-quarters of a million people in SC were left without electricity, and 250,000 were in the dark in coastal Georgia.

The deadly hurricane, which roared out of the Caribbean, killing hundreds in Haiti, officially made landfall Saturday morning 40 miles northeast of the SC port city.

A street in Lumberton, N.C., was flooded on Monday.

At Florida Hospital Flagler, about 20 miles north of Daytona Beach and the only hospital in Flagler County, a skeleton crew of physicians, nurses and staff locked the doors to ride out the storm.

Within an hour of residents being allowed to return Saturday to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, David Villmow had fired up the two pizza ovens at his beachfront restaurant, The Art of Pizza.

"The wind is bending the trees to a 90 degree angle in my backyard, I've lost electrical power in my home and the rain is blowing sideways", Frank Gianinni, a 59-year-old occupational therapist, said in an email from his home in Wilmington, North Carolina. In Bulloch County, 70 miles inland, Deputy Coroner Richard Pylant confirmed a 68-year old man who was at home alone died after two falling trees sent his ceiling collapsing on top of him. The city said some 200 vehicles were abandoned and many roads remained impassable. The city was left awash in rain and gray seawater, though the floodwaters had mostly receded by Saturday morning.

Numerous homes and businesses in Lumberton were flooded with several feet of water on Monday afternoon and residents were seen paddling about the town in small skiffs. Only one patient, who required emergency medical care, remained at the hospital.

Trunck had arranged for 10 men to come from CT to help with the cleanup, but after getting a look at the aftermath, he said he didn't think he needed anything but "a couple of guys and a mop". That compares with Hurricane Katrina's $40 billion and Superstorm Sandy's $20 billion.