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Matthew blamed for 8 confirmed storm-related deaths


Hurricane Matthew is blamed for eight deaths in North Carolina. Five are missing. Most of the dead died when rushing flood waters swept their cars off roads.

Matthew dumped torrents of water on the state, creating the worst flooding seen since Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Gov. Pat McCrory announced Sunday that he has signed a major disaster declaration.

“Right now, as we speak, people are trapped in their homes,” McCrory said Sunday morning.

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McCrory said there have been 887 swift water rescues since Saturday; 574 rescues were in Cumberland County alone.

Gov. Pat McCrory gives update on Matthew damage

The NC Highway Patrol initially told ABC11 two women died after their vehicle was swept off Monzingo Road in Pitt County around 2:41 a.m. Sunday. Troopers later corrected that information, telling ABC11 one person died in the flood waters.

In Johnston County, a woman died when the car she was in was swept off Interstate-95 at mile marker 83 near Four Oaks around 3 a.m.

Also in Johnston County, Highway Patrol said five people travelling on Cornwallis Road near NC-42 were swept off the roadway. Four of the passengers escaped and were able to cling to nearby trees. The fifth person was carried away and died, troopers said.

Gov. Pat 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.

The Harnett County Sheriff says a person drowned after they drove past a barricade near Carolina Drive and was swept away into a creek. Sunday afternoon he was identified as 74-year-old Charles Luther Strickland of Dunn. His body was found in the vehicle after it was pulled from the water.

Here’s what you need to know as of Sunday morning:

  • A boil water advisory has been issued for Fayetteville, Sanford, Lee County, Asbury Water District, and parts of Wayne County. Spring Lake is asking residents to conserve water.

  • 7 people in Sampson, Bladen, Pitt, Johnston and Harnett counties have died.

  • Parts of I-40 and I-95 remain closed due to flooding

  • Over 814,925 people are without power across the state

  • At least 79 shelters are open in 23 counties, housing more than 4,100 people

  • Officials are assessing overtopping, breaches and failures throughout the state, particularly in Hoke, Moore, and Bladen counties. Levee breached in Lumberton.

  • Flooding continues to be a major issue

The Silver Lake dam breached Sunday morning. Chopper 11 was over the scene to capture footage of the rushing water.

Woodlake Dam in Moore County is also in danger of breaching, according to county officials. Public Safety instructed those near the dam to evacuate.

Many residents are also dealing with downed trees and power lines.

Rainfall of 5-8 inches fell around the Triangle and 10-15 inches from Fayetteville to Goldsboro.

Multiple counties and municipalities have declared states of emergency.

Watch: Matthew causes a mess in the Triangle area

There have been dozens of water rescues across central and southern North Carolina as roads flood and homes become inundated.

In Wake County, a swift water rescue boat pulled a man from the top of his car after he was stuck in high water near Fuquay-Varina.

Interstate 40 is closed in both directions between I-95 and the NC-242 interchange. I-95 is closed in Cumberland County. Dozens of smaller roads are closed across the region.



In Raleigh, flood-prone Crabtree Valley Mall closed Saturday afternoon as a precaution.

ABC11 Meteorologist Don ‘Bigweather’ Schwenneker says while Matthew has moved out to sea, the rain it left behind has been devastating. Raleigh set a record for October 8th with 6.45″ of rain! The Neuse River is expected to rise two feet above the historic level set during Hurricane Floyd.

It’s been worse in Fayetteville where 14 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, shattering their old record.

WATCH: Hurricane Matthew’s strong winds at the NC coast

Flash flooding is still a concern in the Sandhills. Officials are asking people to stay home if they can and to never drive through water over the road.

Read more: Hundreds of rescues in Fayetteville

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is also warning residents about scams connected to Matthew.

RELATED: North Carolina officials warning residents about Hurricane Matthew scams

The Red Cross has shelters open across the state.


Steve Stewart explains why some trees topple in a storm

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