ABC News(NEW YORK) — At least 20 people in the U.S. have died in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which battered the East Coast this weekend, before weakening this morning before going out to sea.
Police in Fayetteville, North Carolina are searching for four missing people as the state endures severe flooding as a result of the storm.
Eight people have died in Matthew-related flooding in North Carolina alone and more than 1000 people have been rescued from the waters, according to the governor.
As of this afternoon, at least 700 rescues of the rescues had taken place in Cumberland County alone, the county where the city of Fayetteville is located, and flooding has been the most severe.
Emergency crews rescued hundreds of people from floodwaters with boats and others who were stranded on rooftops were picked up by helicopters in the region.
Images posted online show street signs submerged, and cars flooded up to the windows. The Fayetteville Police Department published a picture of a tractor-trailer truck swallowed by muddy water up to what appears to be the level of the steering wheel.
Research Dr near the airport as of 147pm pic.twitter.com/Uv9iVNlxBd
— Fayetteville Police (@FayettevillePD) October 9, 2016
Driving has been treacherous as many roads are closed and parts of Interstate 95 in North Carolina, a major highway that runs through the East Coast, have been shut. Drivers have been able to get off the major highway and are being detoured on secondary roads.
The Fayetteville Police Department has also issued an ominous bulletin that “numerous intersections” lacked working traffic signals as a result of the storm.
— NC Governor’s Office (@GovOfficeNC) October 9, 2016
“Remember if power is out at an intersection treat it as an ALL WAY STOP,” the bulletin read.
Schools are exacted to be closed Monday as a result of the flooding, according to Cumberland County officials.
In the Virginia Beach region, the fire department reported downed power lines and trees in addition to the flooding. Images posted online by the Virginia Beach Fire Department show trees smashed through houses, lying in a pile of bricks.
Virginia issued a news release stating that officials were responding to Hurricane Matthew related flooding that occurred overnight.
“As anticipated, we have had some impacts from the storm and I have directed our state agencies to make every resource available to local authorities as they respond to floods and power outages, particularly in the Hampton Roads area,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in the release. “As our response continues, I urge Virginians in affected areas to monitor local reports and limit unnecessary travel so responders can do their jobs quickly.”
Six localities — Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Middlesex Count and Portsmouth — have been declared emergencies and the Virginia National Guard had about 160 personnel with high-water vehicles and debris teams positioned to provide support, according to the release.
Matthew has been the most powerful tropical storm to hit the Atlantic region for many years.
Before reaching U.S., shores, it created havoc in the Caribbean.
The hardest hit country there has been Haiti, where conditions have been dire, and officials are worried about the spread of cholera. Over 900 people have died in the country as a result of the storm so far.
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