A Week Later, Hurricane Matthew Death Toll Continues to Rise

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Whole towns in North Carolina remain underwater.Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

North Carolina governor Pat McCrory confirmed on Saturday that the death toll in the wake of Hurricane Matthew had risen to 26 in his state.

The announcement came after two more bodies — a 53-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman — were pulled from their cars, which had been trapped underwater.

Forty-six people — 26 in North Carolina, 12 in Florida, four in South Carolina, three in Georgia, and one in Virginia — died across the country during the hurricane and its aftermath. Before the storm made landfall in the United States, it claimed the lives of roughly 1,000 people in Haiti.

North Carolina towns like Princeville — the oldest municipality incorporated by African-Americans in the country — remain effectively underwater, as do communities in Lumberton and Fair Bluff.

While the hurricane has long-passed, the death toll and destruction in communities across the southern United States continues to mount. In North Carolina, major rivers like the Lumber, Neuse, and Tar are expected to remain at flood levels until at least Wednesday. Six-hundred-and-sixty separate roads remained closed in the state, and nearly 13,000 homes and businesses are still without power.

North Carolina has seen 2,333 water rescues since the hurricane struck, and 300 Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are on the ground there offering assistance to those displaced by the flooding.

The governor has said that he plans to release a comprehensive plan for his state’s rebuilding and recovery early next week.