FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The Latest on Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina (all times local):
North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers are working to help 25 vehicles stranded on Interstate 95.
The Department of Public Safety said the vehicles were stuck between two parts of the flooded roadway but didn’t offer further details. It said the motorists were near Wilson.
Elsewhere, the N.C. Department of Transportation has closed stretches of Interstate 95 in Robeson and Johnston County.
Parts of Interstate 40 were also closed in Duplin and Johnson County.
The Robesonian newspaper in Lumberton has become part of the news itself thanks to Hurricane Matthew.
Editor Donnie Douglas said the paper’s office was flooded due to the rains from the weakening storm on Saturday. The power was shut off to the building to ensure there was no fire or other problems. That means his staff can’t publish the paper for Sunday.
Douglas said he is not sure when The Robesonian will be able to publish a paper again, adding that it may be left with its internet site for a few days.
Emergency officials say there have been 42 water rescues in the county surrounding Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Cumberland County officials said at a briefing Saturday afternoon that roads are flooding faster than crews can get out to block them.
They urged people to stay off the roads and shelter in place.
They said the flooded roads are making it difficult for crews that are working to restore power to those affected by 1,500 outages.
Gov. Pat McCrory says three people have died in North Carolina as Hurricane Matthew dumps heavy rains on the state.
McCrory said at a news conference Saturday that two people died in a submerged car in Bladen County, and one person died when a car hydroplaned in Sampson County. He provided no other details on the deaths.
The governor advised people to stay home and not to drive anywhere from Raleigh and further to the east. He also warned that the storm will turn around and go through the coastal area again Saturday.
Cumberland County officials are reported emergency responders have conducted eight water rescues from cars and homes, and more are expected as the threat from Hurricane Matthew increases.
Officials said in a news release Saturday roads and drainage ditches in the county and Fayetteville are filling with water, causing driving to be treacherous. They’re urging business owners to close early so workers can get home before additional roads become impassable.
The National Weather Service said 8.5 inches of rain have fallen in Fayetteville in about 12 hours, starting a midnight. The ground there was already saturated from heavy rains last week.
A Duke Energy outage map shows that 70,000 customers are without power in areas of North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew, many of them not along the coast.
Of those outages, about 28,000 are inland in the Fayetteville with almost 15,000 in the Wilmington area along the coast.
Hurricane Matthew made its first landfall Saturday morning in South Carolina after the raking the coasts of both Florida and Georgia.
The National Guard has deployed 11 troops to Brunswick County, where emergency officials say storm surge, flooding, and debris are all problems caused by Hurricane Matthew.
The Daily News of Jacksonville reports (http://bit.ly/2dIHAR5) troops are staging in Bolivia, Calabash and Leland, along with high-water clearance vehicles placed at each location.
The N.C. State Highway Patrol has also sent more troopers, with two squads from Greensboro supplementing the county’s forces.
Reports of flooding along U.S. 17 between U.S. 211 and Shallotte came in shortly after a briefing with county emergency services ended Saturday morning.
Sunset Beach officials planned to close their bridge Saturday afternoon. In St. James, the town staff reported that water threatened the Polly Gully Bridge. Officials say that if it closes, about 1,000 people will be stranded.
Gov. Pat McCrory is warning North Carolina residents that even though Hurricane Matthew’s winds have been downgraded, the storm is still a danger because of flooding and storm surge.
At a news conference Saturday, McCrory said he’s especially concerned about inland flooding along rivers in areas that are already saturated. For example, he said 17 inches of rain fell in Windsor in Bertie County just two weeks ago.
He says Hurricane Matthew could cause the worst flooding in North Carolina since Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which dumped 19 inches of rain in Wilmington and destroyed the town of Princeville.
He warned that the storm’s effects will be prolonged and not end once the hurricane goes back out into the Atlantic Ocean. He says forecasts call for 10 inches to 15 inches of rain in southeastern North Carolina.
Shelters are opening as Hurricane Matthew brings heavy rain to North Carolina.
Shelters are opening Saturday in several counties, including Onslow, Carteret and Wayne. Both Onslow and Carteret have shelters that allow pets. Shelters opened Friday in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties, and each county has a shelter that allows pets.
People seeking shelter are reminded to bring their medications and if possible, blankets and pillows. If you need to evacuate and don’t have transportation to the shelter or you need other assistance, call the Emergency Operations Center at 919-705-6599.
The state is running its last ferry from Ocracoke to Hatteras until Hurricane Matthew passes.
The state Transportation Department said in a news release that the last ferry on that route was schedule to leave Ocracoke at 8 a.m. Saturday.
So far, state ferries have evacuated more than 1,300 people from Ocracoke on its Hatteras, Cedar Island, and Swan Quarter routes.
Ferry Division managers says they’ll monitor weather conditions and resume service as soon as conditions allow.