News ID: 170091
Published: 0654 GMT October 09, 2016

Floods, power outages as weakened Matthew hits US Atlantic coast; 11 dead

Floods, power outages as weakened Matthew hits US Atlantic coast; 11 dead

Matthew was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone on Sunday as it struck North Carolina and Virginia with a diminished yet still potent punch, causing flooding and widespread power outages along the US Atlantic coast after killing hundreds in Haiti.

The most powerful Atlantic storm since 2007 unleashed torrential rains and powerful winds as it churned slowly north after pummeling the southeastern coast of the United States, killing at least 11 people in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina since Thursday and leaving more than two million businesses and homes without power.

Damage in the United States, however, was much less than in Haiti, where Matthew took nearly 900 lives. At least 13 people on the Caribbean island have also died from outbreaks of cholera since the storm, and around 61,500 people were in shelters, officials said.

Matthew continued to threaten coastal communities in North Carolina and Virginia, where flash flood warnings were in effect and gusts of 75 miles per hour (120 kph) were recorded.

Forecasters said widespread flooding was possible from heavy rain - 20 inches (50 cm) was expected to fall in some areas - along with storm surges and high tides.

The center of the storm was set to move south of the North Carolina coast early on Sunday and well east of the state later in the day as it weakens.

Matthew, which days ago briefly topped out as a ferocious Category 5 storm, made US landfall on Saturday near McClellanville, South Carolina, a village 30 miles (48 km) north of Charleston that was devastated by a Category 4 hurricane in 1989.

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