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1,500 stranded in NC city due to major flooding from Hurricane Matthew


LUMBERTON, North Carolina — Hurricane Matthew’s wrath is finally over, but what the storm left behind is causing widespread misery.
About 500,000 customers are still without power in North Carolina, where record-breaking flooding led to 1,000 emergency rescues over the weekend — including some in chest-deep water.

Ten people have died from the storm in North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday. That brings the US death toll from Matthew to 20.

McCrory said one of the most recent deaths was in Johnson County, where a car drove into flooded waters and was swept away.

He said five people remain missing.

Meanwhile, 1,500 people are still stranded by floodwaters in Lumberton, North Carolina, McCrory said. “We have people on roofs as we speak,” he said.

McCrory said the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered flight restrictions over the area so rescue helicopters can work.

And while storm victims in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina can start to clean up, rivers in North Carolina could top their banks during the next several days — leading to further destruction.

Rescuers have already saved 1,000 people across eastern North Carolina, including 701 in Cumberland County, authorities said. The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter to pluck eight people from rooftops in the town of Pinetops.

One of the cities hardest hit by the flooding was Fayetteville. Trees toppled throughout the city like broken matchsticks.

Not far from Fayetteville, Matthew’s torrential rains caused dams to breach near Raleigh and Lumberton.

With the Tar River expected to crest at 35.8 feet, more than 15 feet above flood stage, authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation Sunday for parts of Greenville, Goldsboro, Princeville, Tarboro and other nearby towns.