The storm was stripped of hurricane status just before daybreak, but the crisis — set off by more than a foot of rain — was far from over.
"As the sun rises in
Rivers and creeks overflowed, driving people from their homes and trapping others as much as 100 miles inland. The unofficial rainfall totals were staggering: 18 inches in
McCrory said police and emergency crews had made more than 880 water rescues. In the
The governor said that four people were missing in the
"There could be some backroads where we had people swept away. I'm praying that is not going to be," McCrory said.
Most of the deaths happened when vehicles were swept away by floodwaters.
Shortly before daybreak, the hurricane was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. As of
"Stay home. Most of your church services have been cancelled. There's no reason to go out. Take the day off,"
Matthew also killed more than 500 people in
Other places south of the Carolinas, meanwhile, began getting back to normal, with millions relieved that the storm wasn't the catastrophe that many had been bracing for.
In many places, the damage consisted mostly of flooded streets, blown-down signs and awnings, flattened trees and power outages.
As the skies cleared on Saturday, people started cleaning up, reopening their businesses or hitting the beach. The power started coming back on. And all three major theme parks in
"This is not much compared to those two," he said.
On Saturday, Matthew sideswiped two of the South's oldest and most historic cities —
For nearly its entire run up the coast from
Its storm center, or eye, finally blew ashore just north of
Matthew's winds were howling at a terrifying 145 mph when the hurricane struck
About 100 guests and workers had to be evacuated from a
An estimated 2 million people in the Southeast were ordered to evacuate their homes as Matthew closed in. By hugging the coast, the storm behaved pretty much as forecasters predicted. A shift of just 20 or 30 miles could have meant widespread devastation.
"People got incredibly lucky,"
While Matthew's wind speed had dropped considerably by the time it hit the Southeast coast, the storm will rank as one of the most powerful hurricanes on record, based on such factors as wind energy and longevity, and as one of the most long-lived major hurricanes, too.
It was a major hurricane — that is, with winds of at least 110 mph — for just over seven days.
Three-quarters of a million people lost power in
In addition to the seven deaths in
The deaths included an elderly
Property data firm