McCrory: 14 Matthew-related deaths in N.C.

Several hundred thousand people are still without power and several others have died.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hurricane Matthew has weakened to a post-tropical cyclone and is moving towards the Atlantic, but not without wreaking havoc on Carolina coast.

North Carolina Governor McCrory confirmed Tuesday the death toll linked to Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina has risen to 14. Three people remain missing, two in Cumberland County and one in Johnston County.

The three deaths occurred Monday night/Tuesday morning. 

"One in Wake County in which a man driving home from work, a tree fell on his vehicle," Governor McCrory confirmed. "One in Wilson County on highway 551 that resulted in a death and one in Cumberland County on US 301."

Governor McCrory also shared that a confrontation occurred around 8:30 p.m. Monday in Lumberton County between a state highway patrol officer and two deputies which resulted in a fatal shooting. 

"We don't have all the details of this, it did occur in very unique circumstances in high water," Governor McCrory said. The SBI is investigating the shooting and death.

Officials said they found the body of a 75-year-old man inside his car in Monday night in Gates County. 

The state Emergency Operations Center said authorities received a report of a missing man on Sunday, and that the last ping on his cell phone came in at 1:17 p.m. and was traced to an area of N.C. 32 near Gatesville which had been flooded. When waters began to recede on Monday, the car was located and the body found inside. His identity has not been released.



Two people thought to be missing in Cumberland County were found Monday. Officials say two people still remain missing after the storm. Fayetteville police filed a missing person report for 43-year-old Bors Abbey who was seen late Saturday afternoon and 45-year-old Christy Woods who was last seen Sunday afternoon.

President Obama signed the expedited major disaster declaration Monday sent to him by Governor McCrory. The President declared a major disaster exists in the State of North Carolina and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016, and continuing.

Governor McCrory said the declaration is for 31 counties and will provide immediate federal assistance to the state to help the cost in responding to this "very serious disaster in North Carolina."

"There is still an opportunity, and most likely, we will be adding counties to the declaration in the coming days," the governor said.

The governor urged residents of Moore County to evacuate Tuesday as Woodlake Dam threatens massive flooding.

"I want to send a strong message to the people in Moore County, get out, get out now," McCrory said. "Right now we're hearing there may be 50 or 60 people who are refusing the evacuation orders and as governor, that is unacceptable, you are putting not only your life at jeopardy, you are putting our emergency rescue teams at jeopardy."

McCrory said so far, North Carolina has had over 2000 rescues. 

Flooding has shattered previous record levels and is expected to stay above major flood stage until the weekend.

According to North Carolina's Emergency Management Center as of 11 a.m. Tuesday there are 253,213 power outages. This is down from the peak of over 770,000.

The governor shared his long term goal to get everyone out of shelters and back home or into temporary housing. He expressed that this is especially important as many shelters are located in schools. The governor said 32 school systems are closed Tuesday. 

While Matthew is off the map, the storm has been sticking with the state for the next several days. The governor lamented Sunday that many residents let down their guard when the storm was downgraded before reaching the North Carolina coast. 

“When this went from a Category 4 to a Category 1, it gave the impression there was no danger,” McCrory said. “And I’m sad to report that we now have eight confirmed storm-related fatalities.”

Rainfall totaled 16" in Tar Heel, 15" in Goldsboro, 12" in Fayetteville, 9" in Raleigh and 6" in Wilmington.

"I want to let the rest of the nation know that we need your help," the governor said.  "This is going to be a prolonged event," McCrory said. "Most deaths and injuries happen after the storm is over."

Cumberland County Emergency Services said Sunday that the county and city of Fayetteville remain in a critical situation and roads remain dangerous. 

"Major river flooding will continue along many of the rivers across the area with lots of standing water and closed roads persisting," CCES said. 

Several Fayetteville VA Medical Center facilities have temporarily closed and modified available services. A statement released Monday said Goldsboro Community-based Clinic will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. The Robeson County facility will be closed the remainder of the week. Multiple surgeries in both hospitals have been canceled.

Nearly 800 inmates were evacuated due to rising floodwaters. Keith Acree of the Department of Public Safety said Monday that 797 prisoners were transported by bus from Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro to other prisons in the state system.

Many relief efforts have been sent to victims of flooding. North Carolina based organization, Samaritan's Purse, deployed Tuesday three tractor-trailers stocked with relief supplies to North and South Carolina.

South Carolina, Georgia, Florida recovering

In a press conference Tuesday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley confirmed three storm-related deaths in the state. 17 shelters remain open with over 700 residents.

South Carolina was the only state Matthew made landfall. Charleston faced a 6-foot storm surge, with massive flooding and downed trees. Piers such as Myrtle Beach were destroyed.

"We're not seeing as much structural damage, which is the good news of that, as much as we're seeing flooding," Governor Haley said. The governor expressed concern for those deciding to return home. "Please do not drive through barricades," Haley urged. 

In Georgia, St. Simons and Jekyll Islands faced what officials call a "1 in 500-year storm surge event" with a 9-foot wall of water carrying 25 foot waves. AP reported that three people were killed in the peach state due to Matthew. 

Matthew flirted with Florida's eastern coast all day Friday. While the storm never made landfall, AP reported four fatalities in Florida. More than 1.5 million in Florida were under evacuation orders and more than one million lost power. Meteorologists say had the storm been 20 miles closer to the coast, the damage would have worsened. 

Florida Governor Rick Scott said Saturday that his state was "blessed" that Matthew did not make a direct hit. 

Stay with for the latest on Matthew.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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