Floods, power outages as weakened Matthew hits North Carolina, Virginia

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CHARLESTON, S.C./SAVANNAH, Ga., Oct 9 (Reuters) - Matthew was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone on Sunday as it struck North Carolina and Virginia with a diminished yet still potent punch, causing flooding and widespread power outages along the U.S. Atlantic coast after killing hundreds in Haiti.

The most powerful Atlantic storm since 2007 unleashed torrential rains and powerful winds as it churned slowly north after pummeling the southeastern coast of the United States, killing at least 11 people in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina since Thursday and leaving more than two million businesses and homes without power.

SEE ALSO: Hurricane Matthew death toll in Haiti rises to over 800

Damage in the United States, however, was much less than in Haiti, where Matthew took nearly 900 lives. At least 13 people on the Caribbean island have also died from outbreaks of cholera since the storm, and around 61,500 people were in shelters, officials said.

Matthew continued to threaten coastal communities in North Carolina and Virginia, where flash flood warnings were in effect and gusts of 75 miles per hour (120 kph) were recorded.

Learn more about this powerful storm:

57 PHOTOS
Hurricane Matthew approaches islands south of the United States
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Hurricane Matthew approaches islands south of the United States
Hurricane Matthew is seen in the Caribbean Sea in this enhanced infrared image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite taken at 8:15am ET (12:15 GMT) October 4, 2016. NOAA/Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
A general view as Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A wave splashes on the beach at Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, Cuba, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Traffic moves slowly as heavy rains caused by the outer rain bands of Hurricane Matthew move into Kingston, Jamaica, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sinister-looking face of #HurricaneMatthew at landfall in #Haiti [Un-doctored #weather #satellite image] https://t.co/hrviDVuJ3R
A woman with two of her children rest on the floor at the shelter set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A saleswoman shows lamps to a customers while other people flock to the supermarket to take care of last minute shopping as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Tourists from Canada and Russia enjoy the beach before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A woman protects herself from rain as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A dog crosses a road as heavy rains caused by the outer rain bands of Hurricane Matthew move into Kingston, Jamaica, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
Workers place plywood over the windows of a hotel in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A TV is left on the ground as it is transported to a shelter ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People who were evacuated from their homes are seen in a room at a soccer stadium being used as a shelter while Hurricane Matthew approaches Kingston, Jamaica October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Boats are secured off as residents look on at Port Royal while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Workers load a tuck with flour to distribute an extra portion to local bakeries ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Vendors sell their goods on the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Members of a family warm themselves next to a fire while Hurricane Matthew approaches Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Yosvan Anaya speaks to a friend (not pictured) in a cave in a cliff face to be used as a shelter ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
People queue as they flock to the supermarket to take care of last minute shopping as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Adolfo Leiva, who is self-employed, puts sandbags over the roof of his home ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A baby touches her mother's shoulder as they rest at the shelter set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
People take their belongings to shelters prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
People look out at the sea as hurricane Matthew approaches Kingston, Jamaica October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Vendors sell their goods on the street while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
A man looks out at the sea as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
People who were evacuated from their homes are seen in a room at a soccer stadium being used as a shelter while Hurricane Matthew approaches Kingston, Jamaica October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
An interior view of Norman Manley International Airport is seen as it shuts down on Monday ahead of Hurricane Matthew, in Kingston, Jamaica October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
A woman with two of her children rest on the floor at the shelter set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Women rest at the shelter set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A woman with two of her children rest on the floor at the shelter set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A boy rests on the floor at the shelter set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A girl rests on the floor at the a set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Workers load a tuck with flour to distribute an extra portion to local bakeries ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Fisherman Enrique Albelo, 48, ties his boat ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A man wets his feet in the sea as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A girl looks at anchored boats as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Two men look at anchored boats as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Inesia Laguerre cradles her grandchild at the shelter set up in the Lycee Philippe Guerrier ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Vendors wait for clients on a street market while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Vendors sell their goods on a street market while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Vendors sell their goods at a street market while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
People carry their goods along a street market while Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
People flock to the supermarket to take care of their last minute shopping as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Waves are seen as Hurricane Matthew approaches, in Kingston, Jamaica October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
A boat is secured at Port Royal as Hurricane Matthew approaches, in Kingston, Jamaica October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Boats which are secured are seen near residents at Port Royal while Hurricane Matthew approaches, in Kingston, Jamaica October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Traffic moves slowly as heavy rains caused by the outer rain bands of Hurricane Matthew move into Kingston, Jamaica, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
Traffic moves slowly as heavy rains caused by the outer rain bands of Hurricane Matthew move into Kingston, Jamaica, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
A man carries a TV to a shelter prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Siboney, Cuba, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A man drinks a beer outside a boarded up shop at Norman Manley airport as hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
A man holds a bottle of water while people flock to the supermarket to take care of last minute shopping as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Workers cover the doors and windows at a hotel as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
People stand in line for last minute shopping pending the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Kingston, Jamaica, October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
Jamaicans flock to the supermarkets to take care of last minute shopping pending the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Kingston, Jamaica, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
Jamaicans stand next to shopping carts filled with bottled water and other items outside a supermarket, pending the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Kingston, Jamaica, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
A man carries empty water containers while chatting with another man outside a supermarket, pending the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Kingston, Jamaica, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy
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"The wind is bending the trees to a 90 degree angle in my backyard, I've lost electrical power in my home and the rain is blowing sideways," Frank Gianinni, a 59-year-old occupational therapist, said in an email from his home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

See more on the damaging winds:

Forecasters said widespread flooding was possible from heavy rain - 20 inches (50 cm) was expected to fall in some areas - along with storm surges and high tides.

"We are looking at very significant flooding. Almost every road in the city is impassable," Virginia Beach spokeswoman Erin Sutton told the Weather Channel from the city of almost 500,000 people between Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Media showed footage from across the region of motorists and passengers sitting and standing on vehicles stuck in rushing flood waters as crews used swift water boats to rescue the stranded. In Cumberland County, North Carolina alone, more than 500 people were rescued by crews, the Weather Channel reported.

See police officers make an incredible rescue in North Carolina:

At 5:00 a.m. EST (0900 GMT) on Sunday, the storm was about 50 miles (80 km) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. The center of the storm was set to move south of the North Carolina coast early on Sunday and well east of the state later in the day as it weakens.

Matthew, which days ago briefly topped out as a ferocious Category 5 storm, made U.S. landfall on Saturday near McClellanville, South Carolina, a village 30 miles (48 km) north of Charleston that was devastated by a Category 4 hurricane in 1989.

The storm was blamed for at least 11 deaths in the United States - five in Florida, three in North Carolina and three in Georgia. More than 2 million households and businesses were without power, most in Florida and South Carolina.

The storm-stricken stretch of the Atlantic Coast from Miami to Charleston, a nearly 600-mile drive, encompasses some of the most well-known beaches, resorts and historical towns in the southeastern United States. Parts of Interstate 95, the main north-south thoroughfare on the East Coast, were closed due to flooding and fallen trees, state officials said.

Roads in Jackson Beach, Florida, were littered with debris, including chunks from an historic pier dislodged by the storm, and beachfront businesses suffered moderate damage.

Streets in downtown Charleston, known for its historic waterfront architecture, were flooded to the tops of tires on some parked cars.

The National Weather Service said record-high tides were recorded along the Savannah River at the South Carolina-Georgia border, peaking at 12.6 feet, surpassing those from Hurricane David in 1979.

Related: See heartbreaking photos of the devastation in Haiti:

24 PHOTOS
Heartbreaking photos of Haiti recovering from Hurricane Matthew
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Heartbreaking photos of Haiti recovering from Hurricane Matthew

The port city of Les Cayes flooded, suffering badly in the storm.

(Photo via REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

A flooded river in Jérémie. Rising water has prompted fears of a surge in the cholera epidemic.

Source: The Guardian

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Many homes in Jérémie were heavily damaged.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

In Port-au-Prince, a street or a waste yard?

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Some homes are on the verge of collapse. Shelter is a huge concern.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Sifting through the damage. 

(Photo via REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

People carrying their belongings through flooded streets.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Citizens take part in a gathering while Hurricane Matthew passes in Port-au-Prince.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Looking after children is one of the biggest concerns here.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

A girl cries with her relatives at a heavily damaged school.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

An injured man at the hospital after Hurricane Matthew passed Jérémie.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Rescue workers bury the dead.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

An injured woman breast-feeds her baby at a shelter.

Source: The Guardian

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Homes are gone, but life goes on.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

A relative cries in the funeral of Anne Dit Trozitha Zamore, who died during Hurricane Matthew, in Chantal, Haiti, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A relative cries before the funeral of Anne Dit Trozitha Zamore, who died during Hurricane Matthew, in Chantal, Haiti, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
Aerial view of damages in small village of Casanette near Baumond, Haiti on October 8, 2016 after Hurricane Matthew passed the area. The full scale of the devastation in hurricane-hit rural Haiti became clear as the death toll surged over 400, three days after Hurricane Matthew leveled huge swaths of the country's south. / AFP / Nicolas GARCIA (Photo credit should read NICOLAS GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Florida governor Rick Scott (C) visits a damaged beach in St Augustine, Florida, on October 8, 2016, after Hurricane Matthew passed the area. Hurricane Matthew weakened to a Category 1 storm Saturday as it neared the end of a four-day rampage that left a trail of death and destruction across the Caribbean and up the US Atlantic coast. The full scale of the devastation in hurricane-hit rural Haiti became clear as the death toll surged past 400, three days after Hurricane Matthew leveled huge swaths of the country's south. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A man leans on a damaged boardwalk at a debris covered beach in St Augustine, Florida, on October 8, 2016, after Hurricane Matthew passed the area. Hurricane Matthew weakened to a Category 1 storm Saturday as it neared the end of a four-day rampage that left a trail of death and destruction across the Caribbean and up the US Atlantic coast. The full scale of the devastation in hurricane-hit rural Haiti became clear as the death toll surged past 400, three days after Hurricane Matthew leveled huge swaths of the country's south. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A man leans on a leftover of a boardwalk in a debris covered beach in St Augustine, Florida, on October 8, 2016, after Hurricane Matthew passed the area. Hurricane Matthew weakened to a Category 1 storm Saturday as it neared the end of a four-day rampage that left a trail of death and destruction across the Caribbean and up the US Atlantic coast. The full scale of the devastation in hurricane-hit rural Haiti became clear as the death toll surged past 400, three days after Hurricane Matthew leveled huge swaths of the country's south. / AFP / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives get ready for the funeral of Anne Dit Trozitha Zamore, who died during Hurricane Matthew, in Chantal, Haiti, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A woman tries to get food at a shelter in the school Liliane Mars Dumarsais Estime after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Relatives cry in the funeral of Anne Dit Trozitha Zamore, who died during Hurricane Matthew, in Chantal, Haiti, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
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