RALEIGH, N.C. – More than 1,000 people have been rescued from the eastern part of North Carolina after floods from Hurricane Matthew, according to Gov. Pat McCrory.
McCrory said during a Sunday afternoon press conference that there were 700 people in Cumberland County alone that were rescued.
Cumberland County officials said at a news conference Sunday morning that there are about 20,000 residents in the area still without electric service, according to WTVD. Cumberland County Schools, city and county offices will all be closed Monday.
The Edgecombe County town of Princeville started being evacuated Sunday afternoon as floodwaters started to rise. Portions of Greenville were also being evacuated, according to WITN.
Hurricane Matthew, now a post-tropical cyclone, is blamed for the deaths of eight people in North Carolina.
WTVD reported that the victims have been in Sampson, Bladen, Pitt, Johnston and Harnett counties.
Matthew dumped torrents of water over the weekend, creating the worst flooding the state has seen since Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Gov. Pat McCrory announced Sunday that he has signed a major disaster declaration.
“As blue skies return to North Carolina, our state is facing major destruction and sadly, loss of life,” Governor McCrory said in a statement issued Sunday. “This is still an extremely dangerous situation for North Carolina as major rivers are expected to flood in the coming days. As we know from the past, most loss of life often comes after the storm. Our National Guard troops, swift water rescue teams and helo-aquatic rescue teams are on the scene performing rescues as we speak.”
McCrory said there have been 887 swift water rescues since Saturday, using 58 boats crews so far. There have been 562 swift water rescues in Fayetteville alone.