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Published: Tue, October 11, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Hurricane Matthew is just off the Florida Coast: What we know now

Hurricane Matthew is just off the Florida Coast: What we know now

Matthew was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone on Sunday as it struck North Carolina and Virginia with a diminished yet still potent punch, causing flooding and widespread power outages along the U.S. Atlantic coast after killing hundreds in Haiti.

"Hurricane Matthew is off the map, but it's still with us, and it's still deadly", McCrory said.

"Matthew should move near or just south of the coast of North Carolina this morning and east of the North Carolina coast by this afternoon", the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami forecast. He said that eight people across the state had already died and that the death toll was expected to rise. "We are blessed that we didn't have a direct hit".

Matthew's center crossed near McClellanville, South Carolina, between Charleston and Myrtle Beach before 11 a.m. ET. Winds of 145mph hit Haiti causing devastation in the south-west of the country.

The storm passed directly through the Tiburon peninsula - encompassing Haiti's entire southern coast - driving the sea inland and flattening homes with winds of up to 230km/h and torrential rain.

States of emergency have also been declared in North Carolina and Georgia.

Matthew brought heavy rain and some of the highest tides on record along the SC coast. Streets in Charleston - a city of handsome pre-Civil War homes and church steeples - were flooded.

At least one wind gust of 87 miles per hour was recorded at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Destroyed houses are seen after Hurricane Matthew passes in Corail Haiti
Destroyed houses are seen after Hurricane Matthew passes in Corail Haiti

The dead included a woman in her 60s in Volusia County who was killed by a falling tree and an 82-year-old man and a woman in St. Lucie County, officials said. Signs were blown over, and power was out across the island.

He urged residents to be careful because there are powerlines covered by debris.

All access points to nearby St Simons Island from the mainland were blocked.

About 500,000 people were under evacuation orders in the Jacksonville area, along with another half-million on the Georgia coast.

Daytona Beach in the morning then Saint Augustine to the north along the Atlantic coast.

Despite that, it was still close enough to bring down power lines and trees.

Matthew, which days ago briefly topped out as a ferocious category 5 storm, made US landfall Saturday near McClellanville, S.C., a village 30 miles north of Charleston.

In North Carolina, where at least eight people died, Governor Pat McCrory pleaded for outside help, asking the country not to be too distracted by the USA presidential campaign, now transfixed by a 2005 video of Republican nominee Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women. That compares with Hurricane Katrina's 40 billion dollars and Superstorm Sandy's 20 billion dollars.

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