Hurricane Matthew

It's been a year since Hurricane Matthew dumped a dozen or more inches of rain on central and eastern North Carolina. Record flooding in the days following the storm devastated communities downstream. In all, 26 people in North Carolina died, farmers lost billions of dollars in crops and livestock, and cities along North Carolina's major rivers were waterlogged for weeks.

For a closer look at how communities in North Carolina have coped with the aftermath of the storm, click on the stories below.

Ways to Connect

Princeville, Flooding, Race, Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Residents in a small, mostly African-American community in eastern North Carolina are still waiting to see what’s left of their flooded homes since the wrath of Hurricane Matthew.

flooding in the Fayetteville area after Hurricane Matthew
Photo courtesy of Kareen White

As floodwaters finally recede away from eastern North Carolina, families have returned to their homes to survey the damage and pick up the pieces.

What they are finding is that this could end up as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.

flooding south of downtown Lumberton
Jay Price / WUNC

Residents in Fayetteville, Greenville and small towns throughout southeastern North Carolina are facing the outlook of long-term recovery from Hurricane Matthew’s destructive flooding.

Flooded neighborhoods in Grifton near the Contentnea Creek on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Jay Price / WUNC

Kelly Thomas stood at the yellow crime scene tape on Thursday afternoon and looked down Grifton’s South Highland Boulevard. The brown floodwater glided slowly around her restaurant. There was water inside it, too.

Faith leaders, police and town staff lay hands on one another and Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas to pray for strength against the slow-moving catastrophe headed toward them.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The Tar River cuts right through the city of Greenville, but it doesn’t usually cut through Steve Johnson’s backyard.

“I wasn’t prepared for flooding. You know, I don’t think anyone ever is,” said Johnson. “I was prepared for the hurricane. I was even prepared to leave if something happened during the hurricane...I wasn’t prepared for flooding, you just never know how that’s gonna turn.

a flooded road after Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Emergency officials in North Carolina say at least 20 people have died because of Hurricane Matthew.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Governor Pat McCrory urged drivers to continue following marked detours, as two major interstates and many smaller roadways remain flooded as rivers continue to rise.

Among those suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew are farmers in the Carolinas. Heavy rains and flooding are impacting many crops, including peanuts.

October is usually a prime time for the peanut harvest, but many of the nuts are now either underwater or waterlogged.

Contentnea Creek
Jay Price / WUNC

Updated 3:15 p.m. October 17, 2016

Governor Pat McCrory was in New Bern this afternoon to survey damage from the floods left behind by Hurricane Matthew. 

The state Department of Transportation says many roads are still closed in eastern North Carolina, but I-95 has reopened from Fayetteville to Lumberton.  At least 25 people have died in North Carolina. Most were trapped in the vehicles in the flooding.

Officials estimate that flooding from Hurricane Matthew has caused $1.5 billion in damage to 100,000 homes, businesses and government buildings.

view of flooded I-95 after Hurricane Matthew
Jay Price / WUNC

Although there hasn’t been a drop of rain to fall from the sky since the weekend, the worst flooding could still be ahead for areas in southeastern North Carolina.

That's because rain from Hurricane Matthew that fell on areas inland – like the Triangle – will continue to flow toward the coast, collecting in ever-growing rivers that will surge through areas like Goldsboro, Kinston and Lumberton along the way.

flooding south of downtown Lumberton
Jay Price / WUNC

Officials say the death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has risen to 17.

Earlier in the day, officials in Robeson County said they found the body of a man who was in a car when it was washed away in the flooding. All but one of the victims were in vehicles when they died, according to authorities.

view of flooded I-95 after Hurricane Matthew
Jay Price / WUNC

Update: As of Tuesday afternoon, portions of Interstate 95 have been reopened. I-95 South is now closed betwwen Exit 56 (US-301) and Exit 13 (I-74), in Robeson and Cumberland County. I-95 North is closed between Exit 13 (I-74) and Exit 22 (US-301), in Robeson County.

North Carolina transportation officials closed 60 miles of Interstate 95 on Monday as flood waters from Hurricane Matthew continued to wreak havoc on motorists.

James Lowry (left) waits with his family as flood waters continued to rise Sunday, October 9, 2016 around their homes along Highway 401 in Bunnlevel.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The floor of Robert White's apartment is slick with water and a film of mud. The 67-year-old makes his way cautiously over the tile to where his nephew Kareem White is standing. He points out a faint line about two feet off the ground. It travels along the walls of the apartment like a giant bathtub ring.

Flooding along NC 211 near Lumberton make roads impassable on Monday, October 10, 2016.
Jay Price / WUNC

Record amounts of rainfall from Hurricane Matthew inundated roads and homes across the state over the weekend. It brought down trees, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers and killed eight people, as of Sunday night.

But the worst, may still be yet to come, at least for some.

Pat McCrory
UNC-TV

 Updated 5:06 p.m. Sunday, October 9, 2016

Many sections of U.S. 158 have deep standing water, and U.S. 64 in Manns Harbor is inaccessible due to downed trees - both main routes to the Outer Banks.

Richard Neal

Hurricane Matthew continues to roar up the eastern seaboard. It will come closest to North Carolina sometime overnight Saturday and into Sunday.

ADCIRC
UNC Institute of Marine Sciences / UNC IMS

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center forecasts that Hurricane Matthew will track more eastwardly than initially thought. If that holds, the storm will still bring wind and rain to the coast, but it would dramatically reduce the storm surge in the sounds that frequently causes the most damage.

Palm trees sway in high gusts of wind, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Vero Beach, Fla. Hurricane Matthew continues to make a path for Florida's east coast from the Bahamas.
Lynne Sladky / The Associated Press

Update 2:15 p.m. Friday, 10/7/16

The eye of Hurricane Matthew is now expected to come closer to the North Carolina coast than forecasters predicted. In a press conference Friday, New Hanover County Director of Emergency Management Warren Lee warned the county's coastal residents to move inland.

Pages