11 deaths in North Carolina blamed on Hurricane Matthew

RALEIGH -- Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday there have been 11 deaths in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew. Three people are still missing - the number is down from five after two people in Fayetteville were accounted for Monday morning. Officials say most of the dead died when rushing flood waters swept their cars off roads.

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During a news conference, the governor also said water from the Lumber River poured into Lumberton early Monday leaving some 1,500 people stranded. Helicopters and boats were used for rescues. Mandatory evacuations have also been ordered for Kinston and Lenoir County in low-lying areas along the Neuse River.

On Monday afternoon, McCrory received a federal disaster declaration for 31 counties, opening the door for further federal assistance to recover from the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.

"A lot of people are hurting right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and the devastation is beyond words," McCrory said. "This expedited declaration will help provide much needed and immediate federal assistance to communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew. I want to thank our federal partners for approving this declaration quickly and for their continued assistance."

PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew bears down on U.S.

Counties approved for the disaster declaration include: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wayne counties.

The declaration also approved 10 counties for individual assistance to help homeowners and renters repair or replace damaged homes. Those counties include: Beaufort, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Hoke, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, and Robeson counties.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Evacuations in Lumberton, Princeville, Kinston, Lenoir County and Goldsboro

  • A boil water advisory has been issued for Fayetteville, Johnston County, Sanford, Lee County, Spring Lake, and parts of Wayne County.

  • 11 people in North Carolina have died. Three people are still missing.

  • 3 parts of I-95 remain closed in Fayetteville/Lumberton area due to flooding, 1 part of I-40 near Benson also closed

  • Eastern towns could experience flooding throughout the week. Kinston expects the worst it's ever seen.

  • Around 400,000 are without power across the state

  • Officials are assessing dam overtopping, breaches and failures throughout the state, particularly in Hoke, Moore, and Bladen counties.

McCrory has warned that the dangerous flooding will continue to be an issue this week after Matthew dumped torrents of rain on our state over the weekend - creating the worst flooding since Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

"North Carolina is resilient, our people are strong and we are going to get through this together," said Governor McCrory. "This storm is still impacting people in a big way. You have got to see it to believe all the devastation that has occurred."

RELATED: Matthew's punch still delivers pain to North Carolina

Because of the number of roads flooded, overflowing waterways and clogged storm drains, the National Weather Center has extended a flood warning for much of the ABC11 viewing area until late tonight.

The governor has stressed that this will be a prolonged event and that many eastern towns should expect flooding throughout the week. Kinston could face the worst flooding it has ever seen, according to McCrory. There were also evacuations in Princeville and voluntary evacuations of low-lying Goldsboro.

McCrory has signed a major disaster declaration.

As of Monday morning, over 400,00 are without power in North Carolina - down from a peak of more than 770,000 homes and businesses on Sunday.

Monday morning update from Duke Energy Spokesman Tom Williams
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Monday morning update on power outages from Duke Energy Spokesman Tom Williams

McCrory said there have been 1,000 swift water rescues since Saturday; 700 rescues were in Cumberland County alone.

Gov. Pat McCrory tours Matthew damage in Fayetteville
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Governor Pat McCrory

McCrory said the most recent storm-related death was in Gates County when a 75-year-old man was discovered inside his car.

Earlier, the NC Highway Patrol said a woman died when a vehicle was swept off Monzingo Road in Pitt County.

In Johnston County, a woman died when the car she was in was swept off Interstate-95 at mile marker 83 near Four Oaks.
Also in Johnston County, Highway Patrol said five people travelling on Cornwallis Road near NC-42 were swept off the roadway. Four of the passengers escaped and were able to cling to nearby trees. The fifth person was carried away and died, troopers said.

McCrory said one person in Sampson County and two people in Bladen County have died as a result of the storm. The first person was killed when their car hydroplaned. The two in Bladen died in a flooded vehicle.

The Harnett County Sheriff says a person drowned after they drove past a barricade near Carolina Drive and was swept away into a creek. Sunday afternoon he was identified as 74-year-old Charles Luther Strickland of Dunn. His body was found in the vehicle after it was pulled from the water.

Another person died in a storm-related fire in Rowan County.

Three people are still missing - one person in Johnston County and two in Fayetteville. Authorities say 43-year-old Boris Abbey and 45-year-old Christy Woods were reported missing related to Matthew.

The Coast Guard rescued 8 people from rooftops Sunday morning in Pinetops. Chopper 11 HD was over the town later in the afternoon and saw much of it completely flooded. A rescue boat was checking for anyone in danger.

US Coast Guard rescues Pinetops residents
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Coast Guard rescues Pinetops residents (video courtesy Coast Guard)

The Silver Lake dam breached Sunday morning. Chopper 11 was over the scene to capture footage of the rushing water.

Silver Lake dam breached due to rushing water

Silver Lake dam breach

Woodlake Dam in Moore County is also in danger of breaching, according to county officials. Public Safety instructed those near the dam to evacuate.

Many residents are also dealing with downed trees and power lines.

Rainfall of 5-8 inches fell around the Triangle and 10-15 inches from Fayetteville to Goldsboro.

Watch: Triangle businesses, homeowners begin cleanup in wake of Matthew
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ABC11 full team coverage from the Triangle area

There have been dozens of water rescues across central and southern North Carolina as roads flood and homes become inundated.

In Wake County, a swift water rescue boat pulled a man from the top of his car after he was stuck in high water near Fuquay-Varina.

Man rescued from flooded car near Fuquay-Varina
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Man rescued from flooded car near Fuquay-Varina

Interstate 40 is closed in both directions between I-95 and the NC-242 interchange. I-95 is closed in Cumberland County. Dozens of smaller roads are closed across the region.

WATCH: Hurricane Matthew's strong winds at the NC coast
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In Southport residents and businesses owners have boarded up and are ready for Hurricane Matthew.

Flooding is still a concern in the Sandhills. Officials are asking people to stay home if they can and to never drive through water over the road.

Hundreds of rescues in Fayetteville

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Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann explains the dangers of driving during flooding conditions.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is also warning residents about scams connected to Matthew.

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