Matthew Pummels Caribbean, US Southeastern Coast

According to the Weather Channel, the destruction and devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew killed 1,000 people, primarily in Haiti. The storm, which began to collect and gather strength as it moved towards the Caribbean Islands became a category 5 hurricane on Oct. 1.

Winds reached 160 miles per hour, ocean water churned, waves rose, and rainfall increased dramatically. Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, leaving a significant mark of destruction wherever it touched. The hurricane was deemed dangerous and deadly.

After leaving the Caribbean, Matthew’s target was the east coast of the United States. Florida declared a state of emergency, and the state’s citizens were warned about the dangers of staying. The people living in Florida did not know how bad it would really be, but Hurricane Matthew was kind enough to spare Florida by not directly touching the land.

The storm stayed off the coast, but that does not mean it did not affect the people or coastline. Florida residents, including university students, were forced to leave their homes. Some people experienced severe damage to their property. Airports canceled a countless number of flights. Even Disney World was shut down.

Hurricane Matthew left Florida in chaos, with tree limbs, trash, and other miscellaneous matter scattered in the empty streets of cities in Florida, especially the city of Jacksonville. Then, the hurricane directed itself towards South Carolina on Oct. 8. The rain intensified heavily, causing severe flooding in areas. People were forced to evacuate their homes and leave cars in the streets.

After South Carolina, the storm began to weaken and move offshore. Forecasters labeled it a post-tropical storm as it decreased to a category 1 hurricane. While moving out, Matthew caused rain to move inland. Somewhere between eight and 20 inches of rain hit the Carolinas and Virginia. This excessive amount of rain caused many inconveniences for the citizens, and the storm left its mark once again with organic matter scattered everywhere.

Senior Claire Needham’s grandmother lives in Southport, North Carolina and was affected by the hurricane. She lives 5 miles from Oak Island, which was evacuated due to the storm.

“My grandmother’s favorite restaurant on Oak Island lost a pier, and this was because the winds reached up to 95 miles per hour,” Needham said.

As Hurricane Matthew moved north, it began to dissolve. Although it did cause unwanted weather, it lost its strength and its effects were minor in northern states.

The effects of Matthew can be labeled as a tragedy. The states are lucky compared to the devastation that occurred in Haiti. There, desperation levels are rising dramatically. The major effects of the hurricane include crop loss, floods, electricity loss, displacement from homes, property damage, and the most tragic, loss of life. People need help recovering, and the road to recovery will be a long one.

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