Hurricane Matthew's main headline of extreme winds paralleling the southern/central Florida coastline on Thursday and early Friday last week transitioned into a historic producer of storm surge and rainfall across far northern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas over the weekend. Record setting storm surge took place from northern Florida to the Carolinas while inland rainfall also resulted in many historic river crests in North Carolina.
Matthew’s official first landfall occurred on Saturday just north of Charleston, SC in the town of McClellanville as a category 1 hurricane. The last October landfall north of Georgia was the infamous Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
The remarkable path of Matthew’s eyewall staying just offshore for nearly 500 miles from Broward County north to Charleston was an incredibly fortunate outcome. The difference of 30 miles further west as Matthew paralleled the coastline from Florida through southern SC likely reduced property damage by billions of dollars.