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Hurricane Matthew pummeled Haiti with sustained winds of 140 MPH (gusts up to 157 MPH), up to 40 inches of rain, landslides, and storm surge as high as 20 feet. Weakening slightly, Matthew will strike eastern Cuba as a category 3 storm before marching across the Bahamas.
Matthew’s Impact On North Carolina
Confidence is increasing that Matthew will then set its sights on the Carolina coast, potentially making landfall somewhere between Charleston, SC and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Though multiple landfalls in the Caribbean will weaken the storm, Matthew may strike the Carolina’s as a strong category 2 or 3 hurricane. If it does make landfall in the Carolina’s as a category 3 storm, it will be the first major hurricane to hit the East Coast since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. It would also be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the Carolina’s since Hurricane Fran in 1996.
Hurricane Matthew’s Current Forecast Track
Once predicted to steer harmlessly out to sea, Matthew’s official forecast track has shifted steadily westward. The forecast cone pictured below is an amalgamation of several different computer models.
Similar to last year’s Hurricane Joaquin, computer models are literally all over the map. The range of possibilities is not as dramatic as it was with Joaquin; nevertheless, this is not a time for East Coast residents to let down their guards.
Similarities to Hurricanes Fran, Floyd, Irene and Hazel
Matthew’s forecast track has been compared to past North Carolina storms: Fran, Floyd, Irene, and Hazel.
Mentions of storms like Fran and Floyd conjure memories of epic flooding, fallen trees, and lengthy power outages.
Recent heavy rainfall will complicate the potential damage Matthew could cause well inland. A slight shift westward could mean a major impact for Greenville, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, and Durham.
Proper Preparation Is The Key To Recovery
Residents all along the coastal regions of North and South Carolina should prepare for strong winds, heavy rain, flooding rainfall, and high storm surges.
Preparation is the key to storm recovery. Coastal North Carolinian’s should heed warnings to evacuate. Inland residents should make sure they are very familiar with their insurance plans and be prepared to document any damage.
North Carolinian’s are not strangers to major hurricanes. Make sure your family is ready for the storm, but be prepared to help your neighbor. If you have any questions about what you can do to make sure you, your family, and your community is ready for the storm, check out or storm preparedness checklist or give us a call.