US & Canada

Record flooding in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew

A water rescue team member leads Derrick Williams out of the water at the onramp of the MLK Freeway after rescuing Williams from the flood waters caused by Hurricane Matthew on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Fayetteville, N.C Image copyright AP

Heavy flooding has occurred in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew dumped more than a foot (30cm) of rain into parts of the state.

The hurricane and its aftermath have been blamed for at least 35 deaths in the the US so far, at least 17 in the state.

A flooded church is pictured after Hurricane Matthew passes in Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S., October 11, 2016. Image copyright Reuters
An aerial view shows flood waters after Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina October 10, 2016. Image copyright Reuters

Governor Pat McCrory warns there will still be "extremely dangerous" flooding conditions in the next 72 hours in parts of the state as rivers reach major flood stages, some near record level.

Emergency officials have already made 2,000 rescues and almost 4,000 people are in shelters.

A man walks through flood waters after Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina October 10, 2016. Image copyright Reuters
A member of FEMA hands a child his dog on a truck as people are evacuated from a flood area as a result of Hurricane Mathew in Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S. October 10, 2016 Image copyright Reuters

Parts of Interstate 95, a major highway that cuts across North Carolina, are still closed along with other main roads in the eastern part of the state.

The governor urged residents to heed evacuation orders in areas newly threatened by flooding and to avoid driving through areas where water is rising.

Flooded highway 95 is covered with water as a result of Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S. October 10, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Interstate 95 covered in water in Lumberton, North Carolina
Jeremy Spearman checks on flood damage to his Parkside Five Points Townhomes apartment in Raleigh, N.C., after Hurricane Matthew caused downed trees and flooding Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption Jeremy Spearman checks on flood damage to his apartment

"Too many people have died," he told reporters on Tuesday. "And we don't want any more to die."

Among those evacuating on Tuesday were residents along Cane Creek, because the dam holding back the nearby lake was near its breaking point, Moore County officials told the News Observer.

Driver education student flooding Image copyright Reuters
A young resident wades through flood waters at a trailer park after Hurricane Matthew hit Lumberton, North Carolina Image copyright Reuters

One person staying in a shelter, Wendy Key, told Reuters she had fled with her children from her newly-redecorated home to escape flooding from a river about a mile away.

Her brother told her the water was now waist-deep in the house.

"The water started coming pretty quickly and we had to get up and get ready in no time," Key said. "It was very alarming and disturbing."

Historic Fort Pulaski National Monument is completely surrounded by flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Savannah, Ga Image copyright Curtis Compton
Image caption Historic Fort Pulaski National Monument is completely surrounded by flood waters in Savannah Georgia
People look at Bingham Drive in Fayetteville, NC, on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, after it was washed away by flood waters from Hurricane Matthew. Image copyright AP

More than 532,000 homes and businesses are without power in the state as of midday on Tuesday, down from two million on Sunday.

President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in 31 counties in North Carolina, making federal recovery funding available to those areas.

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