Matthew now a Post Tropical Cyclone, at least 19 people dead in U.S.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP/AP) – Hurricane Matthew is a post tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 75 mph and continues to move away from the Mid-Atlantic coast.

The National Hurricane Center says that Matthew’s winds are diminishing along the North Carolina coast but that water levels will remain elevated.

President Barack Obama says his team is working to make sure that states are getting the resources they need from the federal government after Hurricane Matthew pounded the Southeast.

Speaking at a political fundraiser in Chicago, Obama said that he has been in touch with the governors of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. He tells people in those states that the government wants to make sure they know “we’ve got your back.”

Matthew has killed at least 21 people in the U.S., ten of them in North Carolina. The Tar Heel state was inundated by torrential rains from the storm.

A bomb squad is at a South Carolina beach after Hurricane Matthew apparently unearthed old Civil War cannonballs from the sand.

Charleston County Sheriff’s spokesman Maj. Eric Watson said in a news release that the cannon balls were found on Folly Beach Sunday afternoon, but bomb squad members couldn’t get to it immediately because of the rising tide.

Once the ocean level goes down, Watson says technicians will make it safe. He warned residents might hear a small boom. The first shots of the Civil War were fired at nearby Fort Sumter in 1861.

Matthew has caused major inland flooding in South Carolina and North Carolina. The rising Tar River is forcing the evacuation of Princeville, North Carolina, a town destroyed in flooding from Hurricane Floyd 17 years ago.

Edgecombe County announced on its Facebook page that a curfew will go into effect at 7 p.m. Sunday and they are bringing in buses to help get out the town’s 2,000 residents.

The National Weather Service says the Tar River at nearby Tarboro is already nearly 6 feet above flood stage. It is forecast to crest Monday at nearly 36 feet, well into major flood stage but below the record 41.5-foot mark set in Floyd in 1999.

That flood destroyed nearly every one of the more than 700 homes in Princeville, the oldest town in the nation incorporated by freed slaves back in 1865.

A second death related to Hurricane Matthew has been reported in South Carolina. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a news release Sunday that a man was found outside his nursing home in Columbia, pinned beneath his electric wheelchair and face-down in standing water from the rains of the storm.

Watts said 66-year-old David L. Outlaw was found shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday. Outlaw was taken to Providence Northeast Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His was the second weather-related death in South Carolina.


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