A weakening Hurricane Matthew continued its march along the Atlantic coast Saturday, lashing two of the South's most historic cities and some of its most popular resort islands, flattening trees, swamping streets and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands, the AP reports. According to the AP, it made landfall just southeast of McClellanville, South Carolina, bringing with it a "serious inland flooding event." The storm was blamed for at least four deaths in the US, all in Florida. Matthew raked the Georgia and South Carolina coasts with torrential rain and stiff winds. But for most of its run up the US coastline, its center, or eye, mercifully stayed just far enough offshore that coastal communities didn't feel the full force of its winds.
In many communities in the storm's wake, the reaction was relief that it was nowhere near as bad as many feared. At 10am, when Matthew was centered about 30 miles southeast of Charleston, its winds had dropped to 75mph, a Category 1 storm. That was down from 145mph when the storm roared into Haiti. It was moving at 12mph. Among the cities bracing for its effects later in the day were Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina. From there, the storm was expected to veer out to sea and loop back around toward the Bahamas, though as a much-weakened storm. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory warned people not to let their guard down just because Matthew was losing steam.