RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Latest on Hurricane Matthew, which was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone early Sunday (all times local):
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says that Matthew’s winds are diminishing along the North Carolina coast but that water levels will remain elevated.
The center said in its 5 p.m. ET Sunday update that the center of the storm was about 200 miles (320 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and had maximum sustained winds of near 75 mph (120 kpm).
The center, in what will be its last update on the remnants of Matthew, says life-threatening flooding will continue over portions of eastern North Carolina that have received record rains from Matthew.
President Barack Obama says his team is working to make sure that states are getting the resources they need from the federal government after Hurricane Matthew pounded the Southeast.
Speaking at a political fundraiser in Chicago, Obama said that he has been in touch with the governors of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. He tells people in those states that the government wants to make sure they know “we’ve got your back.”
Matthew has killed at least 17 people in the U.S., nearly half of them in North Carolina. The Tar Heel state was inundated by torrential rains from the storm.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says eight people have died after Hurricane Matthew smacked the state with torrential rains and authorities are searching for five people.
McCrory said Sunday afternoon that dangerous flooding will last into next week.
Thousands of people had to be rescued from homes and businesses when Hurricane Matthew’s torrential rains triggered severe flooding in North Carolina. Some were plucked from rooftops, others were clinging to trees and one woman and her small child were standing on their car as the rising waters swallowed it.
The death toll in the U.S. climbed to at least 17 – nearly half of them in North Carolina. More than 500 were killed by the storm in Haiti.
Corrects U.S. death toll to 17, not 16.
The rising Tar River is forcing the evacuation of Princeville, North Carolina, a town destroyed in flooding from Hurricane Floyd 17 years ago.
Edgecombe County announced on its Facebook page that a curfew will go into effect at 7 p.m. Sunday and they are bringing in buses to help get out the town’s 2,000 residents.
The National Weather Service says the Tar River at nearby Tarboro is already nearly 6 feet above flood stage. It is forecast to crest Monday at nearly 36 feet, well into major flood stage but below the record 41.5-foot mark set in Floyd in 1999.
That flood destroyed nearly every one of the more than 700 homes in Princeville, the oldest town in the nation incorporated by freed slaves back in 1865.
A second death related to Hurricane Matthew has been reported in South Carolina.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a news release Sunday that a man was found outside his nursing home in Columbia, pinned beneath his electric wheelchair and face-down in standing water from the rains of the storm.
Watts said 66-year-old David L. Outlaw was found shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday. Outlaw was taken to Providence Northeast Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His was the second weather-related death in South Carolina. Overall, at least 16 people have died in the U.S. from the effects of Hurricane Matthew.
Watts said an autopsy indicated that Outlaw drowned. Watts said his office and the sheriff’s department are investigating.
A woman who answered the phone at the center would not comment Sunday afternoon.
South Carolina has recorded its first fatality related to Hurricane Matthew and its aftermath.
Gov. Nikki Haley says the victim was in a car that was swept away in Florence County. More details weren’t immediately available.
That death brings to 15 the number of weather-related deaths in the U.S. from Matthew. Seven people died in North Carolina; three were killed in Florida. Four died in Georgia. Some were killed by falling trees, others by carbon monoxide fumes from a generator.
Haley says nearly 750,000 customers remain without power in the state, down from the peak of about 850,000.
North Carolina’s governor says the death toll in his state from Hurricane Matthew has risen from three to seven.
Gov. Pat McCrory also said the state faces “major destruction” in the aftermath of the storm, and he is asking the federal government for help.
Water rescues are underway not only along coastal areas but inland as well.
Matthew was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone early Sunday, but McCrory said that “the storm is not over for North Carolina.”
The total U.S. death toll from the storm stands at 14. Four deaths were reported in Florida and three occurred in Georgia.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says hurricane-force wind gusts are battering North Carolina’s Outer Banks, even though Matthew was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone early Sunday.
The center said in its 8 a.m. ET Sunday update that the center of the storm was about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and had maximum sustained winds of near 75 mph (120 kpm).
A hurricane watch was still in effect for parts of coastal North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, for the next 6 to twelve hours.