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Hurricane Matthew kills at least 14 in the US

Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 14 people as it battered the US east coast.

As the storm hit there were major floods and power outages in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.

Matthew - which was a category 5 storm when it hit Haiti last week killing nearly 900 people - has since been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone but at one point hit wind speeds of over 157mph.

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Flooding in North Carolina as hurricane death toll hits 14

Devastation in Charleston, South Carolina, caused by the storm. Credit: Reuters

Thousands of people have been rescued from their homes and cars as up to 18 inches of rain caused severe flooding in North Carolina.

As the storm made its exit to the sea, the death toll in the US climbed to at least 14, half of them in North Carolina.

"As the sun rises in North Carolina and the blue sky returns, our state is facing major destruction and, sadly, loss of life," governor Pat McCrory said as the effects of Saturday's deluge became clearer.

However, the full scale of the disaster is not yet known as many places have not been reached by rescue teams and four people remain missing in the Fayetteville area of the state.

Weather forecasters said North Carolina and Virginia could get even more rain and warned of the danger of life-threatening flooding through Monday night.

Shortly before daybreak on Sunday the storm was stripped of its hurricane status and downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.

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