Matthew marches on - Weakening system rakes Atlantic coast; US deaths at 10
Charleston, SC (AP):
A fast-weakening Hurricane Matthew continued its march along the Atlantic coast yesterday, lashing two of the South's most historic cities and some of its most popular resort islands, flattening trees, swamping streets and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands.
The storm was blamed for at least 10 deaths in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. In its long wake, it also left at least 470 dead in Haiti in one hard-hit district alone, according to officials, with around 900 dead overall and other stricken areas still unreachable four days after the disaster struck.
Matthew raked Georgia and South Carolina with torrential rain and stiff winds, and - for the first time in its run up the US coastline - its storm centre blew ashore, making landfall north of Charleston, near the town of McClellanville, where it caused serious flooding.
Up until then, the centre, or eye, mercifully stayed just far enough out at sea that coastal communities didn't feel the full force of Matthew's winds.
As the storm passed one city after another, the reaction was relief that things were nowhere near as bad as many feared.