Hurricane Matthew: Destruction and Costs


From the Caribbean to the U.S., Hurricane Matthew has been linked to more than 1,000 deaths as well as billions of dollars worth of damage to homes and businesses.

Rushing floodwaters still plagued North Carolina Tuesday (Oct. 11) morning after the powerful storm morphed into a “post-tropical cyclone” over the weekend, according to reports.

The hardest hit was Haiti; there, the hurricane hit Oct. 4, packing 145 mile-per-hour winds and heavy rains. Local tallies from Monday (Oct. 10) indicate that 1,000 people had been killed in Haiti, with 1.4 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to Reuters. The death toll is well above the official count of just over 300. The country has a population of about 10 million and is the poorest country in the Americas, the report noted.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the storm is responsible for killing more than two dozen people and bringing more than a foot of rain to some areas when it traveled ashore, the Associated Press reported.

Dangerous Flooding

More than half of the deaths occurred in North Carolina, where rescue operations were still underway Tuesday morning, NPR said.

Some 1,500 residents in Lumberton, NC, were stranded Monday when the Lumber River rose to historic flood levels.

Due to floodwaters, at least one dam was in danger of breach and some residents situated downstream were being told to leave their homes.

The dangerous flooding is expected to grip the state until Friday, reports said.

“North Carolina is resilient, our people are strong and we are going to get through this together,” Gov. Pat McCrory told reporters Monday morning. “This storm is still impacting people in a big way. You have got to see it to believe all the devastation that has occurred.”

On Monday, President Obama declared emergencies in 31 counties in North Carolina.

Other States Impacted

Twelve were killed across Florida, where the storm brought heavy rains and damaging winds over the weekend. The storm surge and rough waters also tore off the end of the Jacksonville Beach Pier, The Weather Channel reported.

In Virginia, the storm killed one and resulted in heavy rain that made roads impassable, according to Also, a sinkhole opened up on Route 58 in Pittsylvania County Saturday (Oct. 8), which could take Department of Transportation officials up to a week to reopen, that report said.


In Georgia, the hurricane was responsible for killing three.

Thousands across the Southeastern U.S. were still without power Tuesday.

Cost of the Storm

Corelogic, a research and consulting firm, estimates that insured property losses for both residential and commercial properties from Hurricane Matthew are estimated between $4 billion and $6 billion from wind and storm surge damage.

For comparison, Hurricane Katrina property loss estimates were between $35 bilion and $40 billion and Hurricane Sandy’s were $15 billion to $20 billion.

The storm estimate does not factor in losses related to additional flooding, business interruption or contents.

Corelogic estimates that 1.5 million residential and commercial properties are expected to be impacted from wind and storm surge from Hurricane Matthew.


Tagged categories: Commercial Buildings; Disasters; Health and safety; Maintenance + Renovation; water damage

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