Death toll rises to 11 in North Carolina from Matthew aftermath - | WBTV Charlotte

Death toll rises to 11 in North Carolina from Matthew aftermath

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

Gov. Pat McCrory said 11 confirmed storm-related fatalities have been reported in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew passed by the state over the weekend.

McCrory joined local officials and emergency responders Monday to see first-hand the damage in Fayetteville caused by severe flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

“North Carolina is resilient, our people are strong and we are going to get through this together,” said Governor McCrory. “This storm is still impacting people in a big way. You have got to see it to believe all the devastation that has occurred.”

There have been more than 700 swift water rescues in Cumberland County alone, where boat rescue teams from other states have also joined the effort. Other state rescue resources deployed to Fayetteville include the state’s Helo-Aquatic Rescue Teams and North Carolina National Guard troops with high water rescue vehicles.

Monday morning, McCrory said nearly 1,500 residents in Lumberton were stranded following a levee break. Some of those people are on their roofs, waiting for help. Helicopters and boats have been deployed to rescue those residents.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction over the Lumberton area, so that all aviation activity can focus on the rescues. Drones are prohibited in flooded areas because of their potential to obstruct rescue operations. 

"Blue skies have returned to North Carolina, but dangerous conditions remain," said Governor McCrory. "As we have learned from previous hurricanes, the aftermath of the storm is often the deadliest. People who live near rivers, streams and levees must take extreme caution as the greatest threat to human life is rivers flooding in the coming days. Listen to your local officials and take all evacuation orders seriously."

The governor compared the devastating aftermath in North Carolina to what happened in South Carolina last year. "It's very similar to what happened in Columbia, South Carolina," McCrory said.

The greatest threat remains inland flooding that will continue into this week in central and eastern North Carolina. State officials are advising residents to avoid the flood water if possible. McCrory said the water is "not safe" and "not clean."

Governor McCrory warned motorists never to drive through standing water on roads and highways, and not to drive through temporary barriers or barricades. 

“I cannot emphasize this enough, if you see a flooded road, turn around, do not drive through it,” said Govenror McCrory. "Not only are you making this life-threatening decision for yourself, you are making it for rescue personnel who will be called upon to save your life.” 

"Water is dangerous in many, many different ways," he said.

The rains also filled many lakes and ponds to the brim. State and local officials responded to about eleven reports Saturday of dams overtopping. 

The National Weather Service is forecasting major river flooding across eastern North Carolina through early to mid-week, with potential record levels along the Neuse River. The rainfall and high winds led to many power outages across the state. 
 
Power outages across the state continue to fall. As of 10:30 a.m., power outages totaled more than 465,000 statewide, down from more than 800,000 on Sunday. Utilities are continuing to work around the clock to respond to power outages in affected areas. 
 
More than 60 emergency shelters remain open in central and eastern North Carolina and are currently housing more than 2,800 people. For those needing information, including nearby shelter, housing, and other storm-related details, call 2-1-1.  

The governor said it's going to take a team effort to get through these next several weeks.

FULL COVERAGE: HURRICANE MATTHEW

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