The Latest: Hurricane spells misery for homeless woman


The Latest on Hurricane Matthew (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

Cassandra Coleman says she and her boyfriend were driving along Georgia’s President Street, which links downtown Savannah to Tybee Island, when they saw a woman wading through floodwaters early Saturday.

It turned out to be a homeless woman whose tent got washed away when Hurricane Matthew struck.

The shivering woman made it to the water’s edge. The woman identified herself as Valerie and said she was homeless. She said she had nine children but was unable to evacuate with them.

She said she weathered the storm under a tent near an overpass that crosses the low-lying road. But then floodwaters washed it away.

“It wiped out our tent, our tarp and washed away all our blankets and clothes,” she said.

A bystander offered to assist her in finding help.

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9:30 a.m.

Hurricane Matthew’s fury was being felt Saturday on Hilton Head Island, where power was out and the two roads onto the resort island were blocked by trees.

Water swamped roads in many areas, and there was extensive damage, much of it from the island’s well-known pine trees.

Chandler Brunson and her fiance were among several people on the island trying to make it back home after they evacuated.

Brunson tried several different ways to get to her home in an SUV, but they were all blocked.

“I think we’re going to have a pine tree splitting our house,” Brunson said. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

Emergency officials left the island Friday afternoon and had not returned at 8 a.m. Saturday

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8 a.m.

Hurricane Matthew has weakened to a Category 1 storm but still remains a threat to the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday morning that Matthew was centered about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.

Its maximum sustained winds have dropped to 85 mph (140 kph), with hurricane-force winds extending up to 45 miles (75 kilometers) from the center.

Matthew’s strong winds and storm surge were battering the South Carolina coast early Saturday, and heavy rain and high winds were spreading inland. The storm’s center is expected to be near the coast of southern North Carolina by Saturday night.

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4:25 a.m.

Hurricane Matthew is making itself felt in South Carolina. Hurricane-force winds are moving onshore at Hilton Head and Pritchards Island, South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center reports. At least one wind gust of 61 mph (98 kph) was recorded at Beaufort, South Carolina.

Matthew remains a Category 2 hurricane and is moving north off the coast, centered about 30 miles (130 km) south-southwest of Hilton Head.

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2 a.m.

Hurricane Matthew continues to move north off the Georgia coast and its center is forecast to move near or over the South Carolina coast Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center reports. The Category 2 hurricane will near North Carolina’s southern coast by Saturday night, the center says.

Matthew has sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph), and is 45 miles (70 kilometers) south of Hilton Head, South Carolina. It is moving north about 12 mph (19 kph).

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