Space center reopens, Matthew damage in millions

A car is submerged in floodwaters caused by rain from Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, N.C., Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. (Mike Spencer/The Associated Press)
A car is submerged in floodwaters caused by rain from Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, N.C., Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. (Mike Spencer/The Associated Press)
A car is submerged in floodwaters caused by rain from Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, N.C., Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. (Mike Spencer/The Associated Press)

LUMBERTON, North Carolina (AP) — The Latest on the recovery from Hurricane Matthew (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is back open for business.

NASA is still tallying up all the damage from Hurricane Matthew — mostly ripped-off roofs.

Center director Robert Cabana said Tuesday that even though damage is in the millions of dollars, it would have been much worse had Matthew not weakened and veered slightly offshore Friday. As he puts it, “We were definitely blessed.”

Among the buildings with roof and water damage: the 1960s-era beach house once used by astronauts for parties and barbeques before launch.

Industrial air conditioning units were rushed in from around the country, after the roof came off the building that serves as the electric room for air conditioning throughout the main launch area. The switching equipment ended up soaked.

Just over 8,300 people work at Kennedy.


Officials have raised the U.S. death toll from Hurricane Matthew to 30, and half of them are in North Carolina.

Authorities there reported four more fatalities Tuesday. Three motorists washed away by flood waters and a man whose car was struck by a tree.

Florida also raised its death count to eight from five that had previously been reported.

Matthew killed more than 500 people in Haiti.


11:20 a.m.

Officials in Robeson County, North Carolina, have found the body of a man who was in a car that was washed away in the flooding that followed Hurricane Matthew.

Emergency Management Director Stephanie Chavis said the man’s body was found late Monday afternoon after an extensive search.

The man’s name has not been released.

The death raises the storm’s toll to 27, including 15 deaths in North Carolina. All but one have involved motor vehicles.

Chavis says officials have been working to contact people thought to be missing who are not getting phone calls because of power outages.

She says she’s not sure what searchers will find once the flooding is over.

Chavis says state it’s hard to get help to everyone quickly because of flooded roads.


11:15 a.m.

Georgia’s utility companies say nearly 90,000 customers remained without power in southeast Georgia and along the state’s coast as crews continue working to restore electricity and other services after Hurricane Matthew.

Georgia Power reports that about 75,000 of its customers remained without power Tuesday morning. Most of them were in the Savannah area.

Separately, the state’s electric membership cooperatives said about 14,000 of its customers were without power Tuesday morning. The cooperatives, which serve many rural parts of Georgia, said its remaining outages are in the most heavily damaged areas from the storm.

Other services are slowly being restored along the coast. Water officials on Tuesday announced that residents and businesses on St. Simons Island no longer need to boil water after tests were negative for contaminants.


10:45 a.m.

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta has opened its tanks to more than a dozen sea turtles temporarily moved from Jekyll Island to keep them safe during Hurricane Matthew.

Authorities say the storm prompted workers at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to send 18 turtles to Atlanta over the weekend.

The sea turtles are expected to remain at the aquarium’s animal care facility for at least a week as Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff head back to Jekyll Island to evaluate their homes and the facility.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center’s website says the facility is focused on conservation and increasing awareness through sea turtle education, rehabilitation, and research programs. It’s also one of the island’s main tourist attractions, where visitors can watch employees care for the animals.


9:35 a.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says a state trooper shot and killed a man during a confrontation amid floodwaters in hart-hit Lumberton.

McCrory said Tuesday that the trooper and two deputies encountered the man while going through high water in a Humvee around 8 p.m. Monday.

McCrory says he has few details about what led to the shooting only saying it happened in “very difficult circumstances.”

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting. The agency did not immediately respond to messages seeking more information.


9:20 a.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says three more people have died in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

McCrory said Tuesday that the new deaths were vehicle-related.

The most recent deaths occurred when a tree fell on a vehicle in Wake County. The other two were traffic accidents in Wilson and Cumberland Counties.

All but 1 of the 14 deaths have been vehicle-related. The other person died in a fire that was attributed to the storm.


8:20 a.m.

Power is slowly flowing back to South Carolina homes left in the dark after Hurricane Matthew hammered the state.

Utility company outage maps show that as of early Tuesday, just over 300,000 customers across the state remain without power. That’s down from about 400,000 late Monday and down from the total of about 850,000 customers who lost power during last weekend’s storm.

It’s expected to be several days before power is restored.


7:55 a.m.

Officials in North Carolina say a dam that’s been in danger of a breech following Hurricane Matthew is holding, so far.

Deputy Public Safety Director Scott Brooks says crews worked until about 2 a.m. Tuesday to get sandbags in place to reduce the threat at Woodlake Dam in Moore County near Vass.

Brooks said crews would be out again later Tuesday morning to finish. He says the work will need to be inspected before residents can return home.

Brooks says he doesn’t know how quickly that inspection can occur. He says the evacuation ordered late Monday is the second in the last three days.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the area in Moore County, as well as Hoke and Cumberland counties because of the danger a dam failure would pose.


7:35 a.m.

Officials are waiting for all train tracks to be checked before freight trains can resume service from Georgia to North Carolina, following Hurricane Matthew.

CSX Transportation spokeswoman Kristin Seay told The Fayetteville Observer on Monday that some railroad ties and rail lines were washed out from the hurricane’s torrential rains over the weekend.

A statement on the CSX website says the company is working to restore rail lines, but service remains suspended from Savannah, Georgia, to Pembroke, North Carolina.


3:30 a.m.

Helicopters and rescue boats are expected to return to work in North Carolina looking for people stranded by flooding after the heavy rains dumped by Hurricane Matthew.

Rescue teams will be back at work across eastern North Carolina on Tuesday as the deluge rolls downstream toward the Atlantic Ocean. At least three rivers were forecast to reach record levels, some not cresting until Friday.

The full extent of the disaster in North Carolina is still unclear, but it appears that thousands of homes were damaged, and more are in danger of flooding.

The storm killed more than 500 people in Haiti and at least 23 in the U.S. — nearly half of them in North Carolina. At least three people were missing.

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