CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As Hurricane Matthew reached the Carolinas early Saturday morning and churned its way along the coast, thousands of people were left without power.

As of 2 p.m., Duke Energy reported over 640,000 total outages in North and South Carolina, with outages reaching as far west as Cherokee County. Unsurprisingly, the highest volume of outages fell in the eastern part of the Carolinas, with around 100,000 customers along the I-95 corridor losing power.

Mecklenburg County has been reported to have over 14,000 power outages.

Torrential rain from Matthew has led to a life-threatening situation in eastern North Carolina. Over a foot of rain fell in the region last week, leaving the ground saturated and rivers unable to absorb the water.

“What’s unfolding in the eastern part of the state is going to be catastrophic flooding,” said chief meteorologist Brad Panovich.

According to our sister station WLTX, portions of I-95 and I-26 in South Carolina are blocked by floodwaters. The most dramatic obstruction is along I-95, where a 49-mile stretch from the Georgia border to just outside Walterboro is shut down.

At noon, power outages in South Carolina topped 500,000 as state emergency crews were forced to wait for conditions to improve to clear the debris.

"Do not plan on going back home today or tomorrow," said SC Governor Nikki Haley. "It is not going to be safe for you to go in."

RELATED: Fear grows as Hurricane Matthew rocks South Carolina


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