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Hurricane Matthew Leaves 31 Americans Dead And $6 Billion In Damages [VIDEO]

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Hurricane Matthew pummeled parts of North Carolina over the weekend, killing 14 in the state as survivors compare the storm’s aftermath to that created by Katrina in Louisiana. The storm cut paths through five other states and is responsible for the deaths of 31 people total.

More than four rivers in North Carolina have risen to record levels. Rescue workers across the state started work Tuesday bringing hundreds of stranded people to safety by air, truck and by boat.

Matthew arrived in the U.S. about 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and heading east at 15 mph as of 2 pm Sunday. Confirmed deaths include 14 in North Carolina; 12 in Florida; three in South Carolina; three in Georgia; and one person in Virginia.

The damage from the storm is likely to cost somewhere in the neighborhood $4 to $6 billion to clean up, according to CoreLogic, a research and consulting firm.

Rainwater poured into Lumberton, North Carolina, a small town of 22,000 people, flooding rivers and trapping people in their homes.

“We brought clothes, we brought socks,” said Tiffany Powers, a former Lumberton resident who arrived in the town to assist in the cleanup, according to CBS.

Powers told reporters that Matthew’s effect on the town is “worse than we ever thought it would be. This is Katrina-like.”

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, has declared a federal disaster for 31 counties in the state, allowing those affected by Matthew to receive federal assistance to aid in recovery.

More than 198,000 homes and businesses remained without power as of Tuesday morning, according to the North Carolina Emergency Management.

Hurricane Matthew was downgraded from a hurricane to a “post-tropical cyclone” on Sunday shortly after running headlong into the state. The storm was still hitting wind speeds of 75 mph, bringing with it torrential downpours.

Virginia has been the least affected by the storm so far. More than 47,000 utility customers remained without power in the state Tuesday morning, according to local reports.

Local officials were forced to close streets in Virginia Beach, Franklin, Hampton and Isle of Wight. Bridges in the state have been downed due to high water, and downed power lines and trees have caused roadways throughout the county to become dangerous.

Further South, more than 1 million Floridians lost power during the weekend because of the storm — those outages have been reduced dramatically. There are just over 80,000 citizens statewide without power as of Monday evening.

Matthew’s traipse along Florida’s coast caused at least 12 deaths, mostly from downed power lines and those trapped in vehicles or underneath felled trees.

Flooding clobbered portions of Georgia Friday night and Saturday and into Sunday, leaving three dead and closing several roads and streets. Nearly 20,000 people in Georgia remained without power in areas hit by the storm, according to Georgia EMC.

The death toll in South Carolina was not as high as the other states affected, but the damage and aftermath is still considerable.

Both directions of Interstate 95 cutting through South Carolina were rendered impassable due to floodwaters and other obstructions, according to the AP. All interstates in the state had reopened by Sunday morning. All evacuation orders were lifted Monday, according to Gov. Gov. Nikki Haley.

More than 300,000 South Carolina residents are still without power as of Tuesday morning, according to AP.

A Haitian government official said on Sunday as cholera spread throughout Haiti and the death toll from the storm rose to 1,000 people.

Matthew slammed into Haiti on Oct. 7 with 145 mile-per-hour winds and sheets of rains that left 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Local officials told reporters shortly after landfall that 1,000 people were killed by the storm in Haiti, which has a population of about 10 million. The U.N. claims more than 1.4 million Haitians will need assistance out of the 2.1 million affected by Matthew.

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“Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters Monday. “Tensions are already mounting as people await help. A massive response is required. U.N. teams are working with local officials to assess needs.”

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