Fatalities across North Carolina Resulting from Hurricane Matthew
Jonathan Blaes, NOAA/NWS Raleigh, NC, Raleigh, NC, NC
Brandon Locklear, NOAA/NWS Raleigh, NC
Analysis of Fatalities across North Carolina Resulting from Hurricane Matthew
Jonathan Blaes and Brandon Locklear
NOAA/NWS Raleigh, NC
Hurricane Matthew impacted the state with very heavy rain, damaging winds, and storm surge from 07 October 2016 through 09 October 2016. More than 10 inches of rain was observed across nearly all of the North Carolina Coastal Plain with 18.38 inches of rain observed near Elizabethtown, NC. The extremely heavy rain resulted in widespread flash flooding and subsequent river flooding. The Raleigh News and Observer reported that the flooding produced $1.5 billion in damage to 100,000 homes and the NC Department of Public Safety Floodplain Mapping Program reported that 98,699 structures across the state were inundated with water.
A total of 28 fatalities in North Carolina were attributed to the storm. Freshwater, inland flooding was responsible for 21 of the fatalities with 18 of those occurring in or related to motor vehicles in floodwaters. In at least 3 separate circumstances, victims drove their vehicle around barricades. Two fatalities were wind related. All of the fatalities occurred across inland locations, away from the ocean. We will expand the analysis of mortality and morbidity data noting the primary cause of death, location, and the date and time of death. In addition, we will examine the demographics of the victims including their sex, race, age, spoken language and other details. The goal of this work is to highlight the life threatening impact of tropical cyclones across inland locations and the particular demographics that are most at risk, and ultimately contributing to the NWS Weather-Ready Nation initiative.