Published: 2016-10-09 05:44:00
Updated: 2016-10-09 13:07:01
Posted October 9, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — What's left of Hurricane Matthew pulled off the North Carolina coast Sunday morning, and it will allow sunshine to return to central and eastern North Carolina for the next few days.
For many in the area, the day will include extensive cleanup from the flooding and damage Matthew left behind. The storm killed at least seven people in the Tar Heel State, and hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged by flooding in dozens of counties.
WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said Matthew, which is now a post-tropical system, still has strong winds that will lash the Outer Banks on Sunday.
"We could still see storm surge issues along the northern coast throughout the day as Matthew pulls out," she said. "They aren't quite done with the hurricane-like conditions quite yet."
Rain from Matthew moved out of the state by late morning, leaving behind a breezy, sun-filled day.
Gardner said partly cloudy conditions during the morning hours will give way to a mostly sunny afternoon.
Highs will reach the upper-60s to near 70 degrees. Winds could gust to 40 mph in the central part of the state, and sustained winds will be between 15 and 25 mph.
"It's going to be blustery day, and because of the continued wind gusts, we could see more trees fall because of the saturated ground," she said.
Creeks and rivers across the area continued to swell late Saturday night as rain came to an end from west to east, and the effects of that flooding could continue to be felt on Sunday in the eastern part of the state.
Some rivers could reach record heights, Gardner said.
Gov. Pat McCrory on Saturday afternoon said residents shouldn't get complacent—the threat for major flooding, especially inland near creeks and rivers, will remain through Monday. Hundreds of buildings in the eastern part of the state are at risk of flooding if rivers overflow.
"This has the potential for North Carolina to see the worst flooding since Hurricane Floyd," McCrory said.
At 4 a.m. Sunday, more than 686,000 people were without power int he state.