Image: AP

The United States may have avoided the brunt of Hurricane Matthew’s deadly rain and wind storms, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Southeast coast from receiving severe damage. After Hurricane Matthew rolled through the Caribbean and killed nearly 900 people in Haiti, the storm continued along the US Southeastern coast, pummeling states like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina all weekend.

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At least 19 people have been killed in the US by the hurricane across four Southeast states according to authorities. At least eight people were killed in North Carolina; three people were killed in Georgia; six people were killed in Florida; and at least two people were killed in South Carolina.

Local residents may have underestimated the severity of Hurricane Matthew, because it was downgraded to a Category 3 just before hitting landfall in Florida on Friday. It was again downgraded to a Category 1 when it hit South Carolina on Sunday. Regardless of its categorization, Hurricane Matthew still wreaked havoc in the areas it touched. “What those categories don’t include is how water can kill,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in an interview with the New York Times.

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In North Carolina—the state to receive the worst parts of the storm in the US—more than 1,000 people had to be rescued on Sunday, and more than 3,000 people were moved to shelters. Nearly 770,000 people across North Carolina were left without power. The storm has left more than 2 million businesses and homes without power along the Southeastern coast.

There was special concern surrounding the dangerous storm surge and tide created by the rising waters moving inland from the shore as Hurricane Matthew approached landfall this weekend. Flooding in the region left more than 1 million people without power in Florida by late Friday, and it continued up the coast over the weekend. Heavy rains led to record-breaking flooding in North Carolina, where the Neuse River reached 30.9 feet, surpassing the record of 28.9 feet caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

The situation was much worse in the Caribbean. The United Nations estimates that 350,000 Haitians need immediate assistance, and UN special representative for Haiti Mourad Wahba says more than 10,000 Haitians are in shelters and hospitals that are overflowing. To make matters worse, only nine of Haiti’s 15 main hospitals were operating.

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Now, as Hurricane Matthew finally disembarks from its path along the Southeastern seaboard, first responders and others are venturing into areas impacted by the storm, they will be greeted roads completely flooded in some parts of the region. This will likely complicate matters as many areas impacted by the storm are parts of lower-populated areas.


Kyle Simmons wades through water to check on the home of his grandmother following Hurricane Matthew in Edisto Island, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. A deteriorating Matthew was stripped of hurricane status Sunday morning and began making its slow exit to the sea. (Image: AP)
A house is demolished along Palmetto Blvd, in the Town of Edisto Beach, after Hurricane Matthew slammed into the beach community Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.(Image: AP)
Boats sit washed up on shore amongst the twisted docks at Palmetto Bay Marina damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Hilton Head, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 (Image: AP)
Boats sit pushed up amongst the twisted docks at Palmetto Bay Marina damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Hilton Head, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (Image: AP)
A church sits surrounded by water from Hurricane Matthew in Hollywood, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (Image: AP)
Workers block a road damaged by floodwaters caused by rain from Hurricane Matthew in Fayetteville, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. Hurricane Matthew’s torrential rains triggered severe flooding in North Carolina on Sunday as the deteriorating storm made its exit to the sea, and thousands of people had to be rescued from their homes and cars. (Image: AP)
H.V. Bailey looks at damage to a neighbor’s home at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, after Hurricane Matthew passed through Friday. (Image: AP)
Nick Lomasney walks through heavy wind and a flooded street as Hurricane Matthew passes through the area on October 7, 2016 in St Augustine, Florida. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina all declared a state of emergency in preparation of Hurricane Matthew. (Image: Getty)
Commuters make their way through heavy rain in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 6, 2016, ahead of hurricane Matthew. Some three million people on the US southeast coast faced urgent evacuation Thursday as monstrous Hurricane Matthew — now blamed for more than 100 deaths in Haiti alone — bore down for a direct hit on Florida. (Image: Getty)
A downed tree from high winds rests against a car in a residential community after Hurricane Matthew passes through on October 7, 2016 in Ormond Beach, Florida. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have all declared a state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. (Image: Getty)
Nick Lomasney walks through heavy wind and a flooded street as Hurricane Matthew passes through the area on October 7, 2016 in St Augustine, Florida. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina all declared a state of emergency in preparation of Hurricane Matthew. (Image: Getty)
Metal lies on the ground at a gas station damaged by the heavy winds of Hurricane Matthew, October 7, 2016 on Port Orange, Florida. Hurricane Matthew passed by offshore as a catagory 3 hurricane bringing heavy winds and minor flooding. (Image: Getty)
High winds stir up a flooded street as Hurricane Matthew passes through the area on October 7, 2016 in St Augustine, Florida. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have all declared a state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. (Image: Getty)
Cindy Stayvely looks at some of the damage in the Colonial Quarter after Hurricane Matthew passed through the area on October 8, 2016 in St Augustine, Florida. Across the Southeast, cver 1.4 million people have lost power due to Hurricane Matthew which has been downgraded to a category 1 hurricane on Saturday morning. (Image: Getty)
Local tour guide Larry Gerald live streams himself on social media as he crosses flooded S. Market Street at East Bay St. in the wake of Hurricane Matthew on October 8, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. Across the Southeast, Over 1.4 million people have lost power due to Hurricane Matthew which has been downgraded to a category 1 hurricane on Saturday morning. (Image: Getty)