At least eight people were killed in North Carolina and three were killed in South Carolina by Hurricane Matthew's destructive forces, bringing the storm's death toll to 19 across four Southeastern states, authorities said Sunday morning.
Hundreds of flooded residents were rescued overnight in North Carolina and more than 2 million businesses and homes still without power along the southeastern seaboard as Matthew continued to batter the Atlantic coast with 75-mph winds even as it was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory warned residents that even though the storm had been downgraded and had moved past the state, it would pose dangers for days to come.
"What those categories don't include are the power of water," McCrory said. "The power of water can kill people." He said that eight people across the state had already died and that the death toll was expected to rise. Five other people were missing in two different counties.
McCrory said the threat of flooding would persist all week as many rivers were expected to top record-breaking levels. Hundreds of buildings in the state, including at least one airport and one school, had already taken on water, McCrory said.
Unofficial rainfall totals were 16 inches in Bladen County, 15 inches in Goldsboro, 12 inches in Lumberton and Smithfield, and 9 inches in Raleigh and Rocky Mount, McCrory said in a statement.
More than 1,000 people had been rescued during the storm, and 3,000 people were in shelters.