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Report: Hurricane Matthew caused $10B in damage overall

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Wind and water damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in October totaled about $10 billion, making Matthew the 10th most destructive hurricane to impact the United States, according to a report (.pdf) released Monday by the National Hurricane Center.

Matthew strengthened to a category 5 hurricane and made landfall as a major hurricane along the coasts of Haiti, Cuba and Grand Bahama Island, the report said. It made landfall along the S.C. coast as a category 1 storm.

Hurricane Matthew, as seen Oct. 4 by the International Space Station, caused $10 billion in damage, according to the National Hurricane Center. (Photo/NASA)In all, the hurricane was responsible for 585 direct deaths, mostly in Haiti, which made it the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Stan in 2005, the report said.

In South Carolina, the storm directly caused four deaths. Two women drowned in Florence County when their car was swept away by floodwaters; a 40-year-old man drowned in his flooded home in Marion County; and a 66-year-old man was found pinned face-down outside his home in floodwaters, the report said. Indirectly, a 70-year-old man in Dillon County also died after being struck by a cable while cleaning up tree debris from the storm.

“In the town of Nichols, in Marion County, more than 100 people spent the night on the third floor of the town hall due to rising floodwaters,” said the report, written by the National Hurricane Center’s Stacy R. Stewart. “However, the bulk of the damage associated with Matthew occurred in the counties of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown and Horry. At least 800,000 homes and business lost power across the state.”

Because the storm was so destructive and deadly, the World Meteorological Organization’s Region IV Hurricane Committee retired Matthew from the list of future possible hurricane names. The organization will replace the name Matthew with Martin when the 2016 list of names is used again in 2022, a news release said.

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