While Hurricane Matthew has already passed, North Carolina flood waters are expected to continue to rise as rain flows into rivers, causing more damage in many of the same places hit by a similar disaster, Hurricane Floyd, in 1999.
As of October 13th, 22 people had been killed in North Carolina, more than 41,000 homes and businesses were without power, and 3,400 people were in 43 shelters around the state. On October 13, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said that more than 2,300 people have been rescued in more than 600 rescue operations, including 80 air rescues.
According to the Fayetteville Observer, eight dams were breached in Cumberland County, North Carolina as Hurricane Matthew moved along the coast dumping up to 15 inches of rain on the area; another dam in neighboring Moore County approached breach level. Parts of Interstate 95 (a major highway that goes through North Carolina) and several main roads in the eastern part of the state remained closed through the 12th.
People in the vicinity of Lake Surf, outside Fayetteville, have been told by Governor McCrory to heed evacuation orders despite the stabilization of the Woodlake Dam, which was damaged during the storm. There was confusion in the town after officials said they were lifting the evacuation order because of the improving situation on October 11, only to keep the mandatory evacuation in place later that day at a news conference. Governor McCrory has warned residents who reside below the weakened structure but are ignoring evacuation orders, “We’ve had too many deaths. Get out!” “Once that water flows it’s too late.”
Only five percent of homeowners in North Carolina had flood insurance as of August 2016, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency; in high-risk flood zones, the rate of flood insurance ranged from 25 to 65 percent.
Sources and Further Reading:
RESIDENTS BELOW WOODLAKE DAM STILL CAN’T GO HOME – ABC 11 News
County reports eight breached dams; watching others for failure – Fayetteville Observer