RALEIGH (WTVD) —
Hurricane Matthew has made landfall in South Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory is warning NC residents that the Category 1 storm has the potential to bring the most flooding to North Carolina since Hurricane Floyd. The Triangle and Sandhills are in for hours of continuous rain.
Interstate 40 is reportedly closed in both directions between I-95 and the NC-242 interchange. I-95 southbound is closed in Cumberland County. Dozens of smaller roads are closed across the region.
At an afternoon news conference, McCrory said one person in Sampson County and two people in Bladen County have died as a result of the storm. The first person was killed when their car hydroplaned. The two in Bladen died in a flooded vehicle.
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In Raleigh, flood-prone Crabtree Valley Mall closed at 1:30 p.m. as a precaution.
Interstate 40 is reportedly closed in both directions between I-95 and the NC-242 interchange. Dozens of smaller roads are closed across the region.
CHECK OUT A LIST OF ROAD CLOSURES HERE
Matthew is packing winds of 75 mph and is crawling up the coast at 12 mph. ABC11 Meteorologist Steve Stewart says by 2 a.m. Sunday, Matthew should pull out to sea – but not before it soaks the area.
Here’s what you need to know as of Saturday afternoon:
- Matthew has made landfall in South Carolina
- 3 people in Sampson and Bladen counties have died
- 200,000 people are without power
- 59 shelters are open in 23 counties
- Heavy rains have moved into central NC now and will continue most of the day
- Rainfall amounts in the Triangle from 3 to 6 inches, possibility of up to 10 inches inundating the Sandhills
- Flash flooding is likely and with the ground saturated, wind gusts between 50 and 60mph will cause trees to comes down
- Matthew will be leaving our coast overnight and tomorrow the sun comes out, but it will still be breezy
Rain amounts of 3 to 7 inches are possible across Central North Carolina as Hurricane Matthew moves closer. In addition, a Wind Advisory is in effect through Sunday afternoon. Central North Carolina could see wind gusts up to 40 to 50 miles per hour.
Hurricane Warnings have been extended to Cape Lookout. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for northern coastal counties.
WATCH: Hurricane Matthew’s strong winds at the NC coast
A Tornado Watch is in effect until 4 p.m. for some coastal counties. Those counties include Brunswick, Carteret, Columus, Craven, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender.
The storm should continue to weaken during the day Saturday and Matthew will spin down to tropical storm strength by Sunday.
The south coast of North Carolina could experience hurricane force wind gusts today, and winds could gust to 50 mph along the I-95 corridor and near 40 mph around the Triangle.
Flash flooding is a major concern for Saturday, especially in the Sandhills and Coastal Plain. Officials are asking people to stay home if they can and to never drive through water over the road.
Friday, President Obama approved Gov. Pat McCrory’s request for a federal disaster declaration for 66 counties in central and eastern North Carolina.
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McCrory says the North Carolina National Guard and emergency equipment have been assembled, including high-water vehicles and swift-water rescue teams.
At Fort Bragg, soldiers are prepared to deploy on short notice if they are called to assist those who suffer from damage or other problems because of the hurricane.
Thousands of flight cancellations have been reported across the country, including at Raleigh Durham international.
In Raleigh, Derrick Remer, Emergency Management & Special Events Manager with the City of Raleigh said crews are on standby ready to work through the weekend on 12-hour shifts, on the go 24 hours if needed.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is also warning residents about scams connected to Hurricane Matthew.
RELATED: North Carolina officials warning residents about Hurricane Matthew scams
The Red Cross has shelters open across the state.
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The ABC11 Weather Team will keep you updated with the latest.
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