iStock/Thinkstock(GOLDSBORO, N.C.) — More than a week after Hurricane Matthew swept through North Carolina, the state is still reeling from severe flooding and widespread power outages.
For the first time in nine days, no new Hurricane Matthew-related fatalities were reported in North Carolina in the past 24 hours, Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday morning, adding that power outages are down to 55,000 customers from a high of 900,000.
But the state is not out of danger.
Nearly 3,400 people are in shelters throughout the state, McCrory said.
The first priority now is stabilizing the devastated Robeson County, where houses are underwater and people are “hurting,” he said. Of the 55,000 power outages, 12,000 are in Robeson County.
“I saw people who were resilient, caring, risking their lives to save people,” McCrory said, touring the county on Wednesday.
The second issue is new flooding, McCrory said.
Flooding is expected to peak in the next 24 hours in five counties: Edgecombe, Pitt, Bladen, Wayne and Lenoir, the governor said. The Tar River is currently cresting.
The Neuse River is expected to break record levels in Goldsboro, a city in Wayne County.
Evacuations continue in the area around the Woodlake Dam in Moore County.
Transportation also remains a major problem.
Interstate 95 — a major East Coast artery — is still closed from Lumberton to Fayetteville. I-40 near Newton Grove remains closed and U.S. 70 in Kinston is closed.
Before Matthew weakened and veered out to sea on Sunday, it brought winds of up to 100 mph, as much as 15 inches of rain and powerful storm surges of up to 9 feet in some areas.
Overall, Matthew has killed 38 people across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, according to authorities.
The storm led to the evacuation of more than 3 million coastal residents, caused widespread power outages and has left billions of dollars in damage in its wake.
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