Joe Lovece surveys the damage to the kitchen at the back of his home after Matthew hit Ormond Beach, Florida. REUTERS/Phelan Ebenhack
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Hurricane Matthew's torrential rains triggered severe flooding in North Carolina Sunday as the deteriorating storm made its exit to the sea, and thousands of people had to be rescued from their homes and cars. The death toll in the U.S. climbed to at least 15, nearly half of them in North Carolina. Haiti, which faced the full force of the storm, began three days of mourning Sunday for hundreds killed as relief officials grappled with the unfolding devastation in the Caribbean country's hard-hit south.The fearsome storm then sideswiped hundreds of kilometers of the U.S. coastline from Florida through Georgia and the Carolinas, its eye staying far enough offshore that the damage in many places was relatively modest, consisting mostly of flooded streets, flattened trees and blown-down signs and awnings.An estimated 2 million people in the southeast were ordered to evacuate their homes as Matthew closed in. Matthew killed hundreds of people in Haiti last week, plowing into the desperately poor country at over 230 kph.As the death toll climbed, pledges of aid flooded in, with the United States announcing it was sending a Navy ship, the USS Mesa Verde, whose 300 Marines will add to the 250 personnel and nine helicopters already ordered to deploy to Haiti.
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