Matthew’s misery not over in North Carolina

Disaster | Coastal communities struggle with flooding as swollen rivers roll downstream
by Leigh Jones
Posted 10/11/16, 11:48 am

Hurricane Matthew’s torrential downpour is long gone, but misery continues to multiply in coastal North Carolina, where swollen rivers are surging toward the Atlantic Ocean.

The flooding has killed 14 people in North Carolina so far, including one man shot by a state trooper during a confrontation in hard-hit Lumberton. Officials have released few details about the incident, but Gov. Pat McCrory said it took place under “very difficult circumstances.”

And the circumstances aren’t expected to get much better before the end of the week when area rivers should start receding. Rescue crews from as far away as New York and New Jersey joined local crews on Monday to rescue an estimated 1,500 people trapped by the rising Lumber River. The rescues continued today.

Officials say thousands of homes suffered damage and the threat is not over. Crews managed to shore up Woodlake Dam in Moore County, near Vass, but downstream residents have yet to be allowed home. Fears over a breach in the dam prompted officials to evacuate three counties.

To the south, officials warned it could take weeks to restore power to damaged areas. About 90,000 customers in Georgia and 300,000 in South Carolina still don’t have electricity. In some places, officials ordered homeowners to stay away because the damage is still too severe. Three people died in each state during the storm, and another five died in Florida over the weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leigh Jones

Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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