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Hurricane Matthew Brings Record Flooding in North Carolina

Hurricane Matthew seemed to have hit a glancing blow on the southeastern seaboard over the weekend, until the floodwaters, and the death tolls, started to rise.
October 13, 2016, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Hurricane Matthew may have wandered out to sea, but the watery mess it left behind in North Carolina keeps getting worse and worse," reports Brad Plumer.

Plumer, writing on Tuesday, October 11, reports that floodwaters have been rising after the Hurricane dropped record amounts of rain on the state over the weekend.

In a separate article, Elena Gooray provides historic context for the rainfall:

The storm swept in by Hurricane Matthew has produced rainfall that exceeds the level expected about once every 1,000 years, according to a statistical analysis using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. 

Moreover, researchers have already been able to connect the record floods with the effects of a warming climate:

The new rainfall records were enabled by warming in the ocean and coastal atmospheres, which hold more water as temperatures increase — with a few cities across the Southeast reporting record levels of air moisture during the storm.

Those kinds of epoch-defining rain levels were also witnessed in Louisiana several times earlier this year.

President Obama has declared both North Carolina and South Carolina as disasters. In September, Tim Dominick penned a prescient letter to the editors of The State, calling on South Carolina to improve dam safety, one year after destructive floods ravaged the state.

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