SOUTH CAROLINA (WCBD) — Hurricane Matthew made landfall around 11 a.m. on Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The center said in a news release Saturday morning that the storm’s center made landfall just southeast of the town of McClellanville.
In a news conference, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley warned residents to watch for fraudulent emails that have shown up as Hurricane Matthew moved along the coast. The governor said Saturday that people are receiving emails stating that they have an update on power outages. Haley said the email provides a link to get the update.
The governor said those who click on the link have opened their computer to hackers.
Haley says it’s important for people to be sure they recognize the sender of emails before opening them. She says those from unknown senders should be deleted.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg held a news conference at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. He said Hurricane Matthew has brought the largest storm surge since Hurricane Huge in 1989.
“If you stayed for Matthew, you have stayed number one if you’re along the immediate coast, you can for the first time if you’ve never been through one say that you were in the eyewall of a hurricane as it passed by. You’re also experiencing the largest storm surge to strike the South Carolina coast since Hurricane Hugo in 1989.”
Cassandra Coleman says she and her boyfriend were driving along Georgia’s President Street, which links downtown Savannah to Tybee Island, when they saw a woman wading through floodwaters early Saturday. It turned out to be a homeless woman whose tent got washed away when Hurricane Matthew struck.
The shivering woman made it to the water’s edge. The woman identified herself as Valerie and said she was homeless. She said she had nine children but was unable to evacuate with them.
She said she weathered the storm under a tent near an overpass that crosses the low-lying road. But then floodwaters washed it away.
“It wiped out our tent, our tarp and washed away all our blankets and clothes,” she said.
A bystander offered to assist her in finding help.
Hurricane Matthew’s fury was being felt Saturday on Hilton Head Island, where power was out and the two roads onto the resort island were blocked by trees.
Water swamped roads in many areas, and there was extensive damage, much of it from the island’s well-known pine trees.
Chandler Brunson and her fiance were among several people on the island trying to make it back home after they evacuated.
Brunson tried several different ways to get to her home in an SUV, but they were all blocked.
“I think we’re going to have a pine tree splitting our house,” Brunson said. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
Emergency officials left the island Friday afternoon and had not returned at 8 a.m. Saturday
Hurricane Matthew has weakened to a Category 1 storm but still remains a threat to the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday morning that Matthew was centered about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.
Its maximum sustained winds have dropped to 85 mph (140 kph), with hurricane-force winds extending up to 45 miles (75 kilometers) from the center.
Matthew’s strong winds and storm surge were battering the South Carolina coast early Saturday, and heavy rain and high winds were spreading inland. The storm’s center is expected to be near the coast of southern North Carolina by Saturday night.
Hurricane Matthew is making itself felt in South Carolina. Hurricane-force winds are moving onshore at Hilton Head and Pritchards Island, South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center reports. At least one wind gust of 61 mph (98 kph) was recorded at Beaufort, South Carolina.
Matthew remains a Category 2 hurricane and is moving north off the coast, centered about 30 miles (130 km) south-southwest of Hilton Head.
Hurricane Matthew continues to move north off the Georgia coast and its center is forecast to move near or over the South Carolina coast Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center reports. The Category 2 hurricane will near North Carolina’s southern coast by Saturday night, the center says.
Matthew has sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph), and is 45 miles (70 kilometers) south of Hilton Head, South Carolina. It is moving north about 12 mph (19 kph).