Hurricane Matthew became a hurricane on September 29, 2016 and then saw its western edge work its way up via a long, slow slog from the eastern Caribbean and up along the southeast coast of the U.S., making it as far north as North Carolina before turning east on October 8 and becoming sub-tropical. The storm resulted in the deaths of at least 283 people in Haiti, while 43 people in the U.S. lost their lives, with $6 billion in damage in the U.S.
Matthew at one point reached Category 5 status (sustained winds of 160 mph), but – thankfully – had weakened to “just” a Category 1 when it made its only landfall at McClellanville in South Carolina on October 8.
Ft. Pulaski, Georgia saw a storm surge of just under 8 feet and tide levels at Charleston Harbor in South Carolina peaked at their third highest level ever on Oct. 8, the highest tide levels ever seen since Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and more than a foot higher than a massive flood in October 2105.
Although Matthew never actually made landfall in Florida, Orlando – a full 60 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean – the city still saw wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina saw wind gusts of 74 mph, and Fort Pulaski, Georgia weathered gusts of 79 mph.
Fayetteville, North Carolina, saw more than eight inches of rain in less than six hours, ultimately enduring more than 14 inches of rain from the storm.
Flooding was massive in several areas of the Carolinas, with Johnston County, North Carolina, seeing multiple water rescues, as well as folks trapped in homes and others waiting for rescue while sitting atop their flooded vehicles. Interstate 95 in Fayetteville, North Carolina flooded and a six-mile length of Interstate 40 near Coats Crossroads in the Tar Heel State closed, as well.
Meanwhile, Next Exit Helped Keep Essential Communications Open for Affected Communities
One of our clients (whom we won’t name, for privacy concerns) needed generators in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. Lots of generators — more than 100 – in order to ensure emergency personnel could continue to connect with each other as well as with communities damaged by flooding that had lost their communications capacity.
Our client, knowing Matthew was on its way, contacted us just a few days in advance, asking us to get the generators to affected areas as soon as possible.
Our main challenge was finding enough qualified drivers, as many already headed to the area with other companies. Plus, understandably, not many truckers wanted to endure the weather and/or risk being in accidents due to low visibility and damaging winds, not to mention the risk of finding themselves in a flood.
Interstate 16 closed in Georgia and several exits along I-95 in North Carolina closed, requiring us to reroute some of the generator-carrying trucks. Some of the shipments were unavoidably delayed to their destinations as a result.
We’re happy – and proud! – to report that all of our drivers made it to their destinations without incident (no accidents or flooding): we hire only the best in the business! We continued to send in trucks with generators to areas in need until the storm passed
We’re Committed to ALWAYS Going Above and Beyond
Our work during Hurricane Matthew is just one example of the commitment we make to our clients: no matter what challenges we face, we will get your shipment to its destination!