One year later: Looking back on Hurricane Matthew - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

One year later: Looking back on Hurricane Matthew

(Source: WMBF News) (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Exactly one year after Hurricane Matthew slammed the Grand Strand and South Carolina coast, we're revisiting this devastating storm and the effect it had on our area.

Matthew brought an end to a long stretch of hurricane-free years in the Grand Strand and South Carolina. It was the first hurricane to make landfall in South Carolina since Hurricane Gaston in 2004. 

At its peak, Matthew was a Category 5 hurricane, with winds of 160 mph in the central Caribbean. Thankfully, Matthew weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds at the time of landfall. 

Matthew officially made landfall near McClellanville at 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 8. The center of the storm then crossed directly over Myrtle Beach several hours later. 

In the days leading up to Hurricane Matthew, every coastal county in the state had evacuation orders. The evacuations of the Lowcountry prompted the first successful lane reversals of Interstate 26 from Charleston to Columbia. Seventy-seven shelters were opened across the state to house evacuees. 

Severe beach erosion and storm surge was reported across the entire coast, with the highest values since Hurricane Hugo reported in most areas.  Hurricane-force wind gusts were widespread and responsible for downing thousands of trees, even well inland. 

Rainfall totals reached 10 to 17 inches in many areas, with the highest total in the state coming from Dillon where the official total reached 17.22 inches - a 1,000-year rainfall. 

The excessive rainfall led to record breaking and widespread flooding in the days and weeks following Matthew. Twenty-six counties in South Carolina were declared federal disaster areas in the days following the storm.

By the numbers, Matthew is a storm that won't soon be forgotten:

  • 355,000 displaced citizens.
  • 1,929 homes damaged or destroyed
  • 25 breached dams
  • 1,979,308 cubic yards of storm debris
  • 866,000 household power outages

Chief Meteorologist Jamie Arnold shares his experience covering the days leading up to Matthew and the day the storm hit. Make sure to watch his personal and in-depth look back.

Take a look back at Hurricane Matthew with the dozens of photos submitted by you, our viewers.

Below, explore an interactive timeline detailing Hurricane Matthew's formation in the Caribbean, and the path it took before slamming the South Carolina coast. Tap here to view the timeline in full-screen.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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