3 dead in North Carolina as Matthew causes widespread flooding, closures and outages in SE Virginia

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Heavy rain from Matthew has caused problems all over Hampton Roads and North Carolina, killing three people.

One death in Sampson County, North Carolina was caused by a vehicle that hydroplaned. Two more people died in Bladen County due to a submerged vehicle, according to officials in North Carolina.

Matthew swept across the Carolinas as a hurricane on Saturday, and the outer portions of the storm brought widespread rainfall, wind gusts and flooding to the region late Saturday.

The eye of Matthew stayed to the south and east of the region, but widespread impacts were still seen and felt across the region. The storm weakened early Sunday morning from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone.

By 2 a.m. Monday, Matthew is expected to be off-shore to the east of North Carolina.

Image Credit: National Hurricane Center/NOAA
Image Credit: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Rainfall from Matthew, coupled with moderate tidal flooding, caused more flooding than was initially anticipated in the southeastern portion of the state.

Some areas of the region (such as Windsor and Deep Creek) have seen as much as 10 inches of rain. Flood warnings have also been issued for the Southside of Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore and areas of northeast North Carolina until 7:45 a.m.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management says more flooding is expected during the day Sunday.

More than 270,000 customers were without power early across the region early Sunday morning, according to Dominion Virginia Power’s outage map.

As of 2:30 p.m. about 19,000 people were without power in Central Virginia.

About 7,000 of those outages were in Chesterfield County, 2,000 were in Hanover County, 2,000 were in Henrico County, 2,500 were in New Kent County, 1,700 were in Richmond, and 2,900 were in Powhatan County.

Check here for a full up-to-date list of power outages in the area.

Officials say people should prepare for multi-day restoration effort to get power back online. Dominion says they will not be able to get an accurate estimation on when power could be restored until crews get a full assessment of the damage.

Rain is expected to continue from Matthew throughout the morning hours of Sunday before tapering off around midday. Wind gusts are expected to remain high during the day.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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