Sunday afternoon may have felt like a typical fall, blustery day but signs of Hurricane Matthew’s presence remained in uprooted trees, flooded streets and debris littering the area.

The Category 1 storm brought heavy rains and winds around 60 mph. to the area.

Across Onslow County, several roads were closed or partially closed overnight due to flooding or obstructions, like trees, in the road. By 10 p.m. Saturday several major roads had been closed, including Western Blvd. in Jacksonville, the 4500 block of Gum Branch Rd., and a portion of Richlands Hwy.

While Western had reopened Sunday morning, by Sunday afternoon, it had closed again, this time between Marine Blvd. and Commerce Rd., due to downed sparking power lines, according to information from the City of Jacksonville.

But by Sunday afternoon, all roads were deemed passable by Onslow County government officials.


Jacksonville had seen some flooding on Carolina Forest Blvd. near Carolina Forest Elementary School, Bell Fork Rd. and other roads, but the flooded areas that caused the most concern was downtown by Onslow County Courthouse.

That area was one Assistant City Manager Glenn Hargett said would be the last to remain flooded in the Jacksonville area.

“Flooding is down (in that area),” he said. “It’s far less than it was before. Most every other place affected by flooding has already been cleared.”

A shift in winds earlier Sunday had helped to move the flooding out of the area, he said.

“When that wind changed directions this morning, it just helped to move the river down,” Hargett said. “It’s literally helping to get this excess out of the river.”

The city also had about 4,000 homes and businesses without Sunday morning, and while all major intersections were powered by generators or were directed by a police officer, smaller intersections were to be treated as a four-way stop, Hargett said.

Aside from flooding, the city experienced downed trees in areas like the Lejeune Memorial Gardens and the Jacksonville City Cemetery.

Hurricane Matthew, Hargett said, brought back memories of Hurricane Fran.

“It was much like Fran when that wind came it seemed to last forever. I remember the despair we had in our minds during Fran as to how long it would last. What a feeling to just listen to that for hours on end. It brought back some vivid memories of Fran to me,” Hargett said.

But the city learned some lessons from Fran -- lessons that paid off when it came to preparing for Matthew.

The city learned to have more generators ready to go and have generators set up at waste stations, water systems and city wells.

As of 1 p.m. Sunday, power to the sewer lift stations had been restored, however, some stations were “overwhelmed with the surcharge from the heavy rain,” according to a press release by the city. The effects of that is not yet known.

Damage and flood estimates were being calculated by the city as of 4 p.m. Sunday and were due by Monday morning, Hargett said.


Maysville Town manager Schumata Brown said he didn’t have any road closures to report or major damage. His biggest concern was power outages.

“We were fortunate and I’m happy to say that,” he said Sunday morning. “We still don’t have power though. We’re still waiting on it to come back on.”

The sewer and water plants and town hall are being powered by generators, he said.

Other than some trees downed, the town had minimal damage, Brown said.

“I think it went a lot of better than what we expected and what was forecast,” he said. “We have no power over nature, but as far as making sure our equipment was up and police patrol through the night.”

The town manager said he checked on generators and things through the night.

“I guess that’s part of growing up here and being town manager, you become invested,” he said.


Some damage was done in Richlands by Hurricane Matthew, but overall the town is doing well, officials said.

The flooded areas drained quickly and by Sunday morning, Richlands Police Department Chief Ron Lindig gave the green light for drivers, as long as they were careful.

Overall, Richlands Town Administrator Gregg Whitehead said the town was just wet.

“Most of the low-lying areas have cleared back up,” he said. “Now it’s kind of a waiting game to see what happens upstream.”

Whitehead said he remembers Hurricane Floyd and the damaging floods that made Richlands virtually an island, but said the 1999 storm was much worse that this weekend’s storm.

The winds and water didn’t cause any loss of life that he knows of and there are no structures that were damaged beyond repair, but there are repairs that need to be done.

Two schools were damaged in the storm and with Onslow County Schools being closed Monday, Whitehead said he believes that’s when they’ll take a look at the buildings.

Richlands Elementary School had a tree fall in the back of the campus while Richlands High School has damage to the ceiling of the cafeteria, but Whitehead wasn’t sure if it was wind or water damage.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Wal-Mart in Richlands was still closed, according to Whitehead, and he said although the town itself uses Duke Energy Progress, the store uses Jones Onslow EMC for electricity. The city was powered up but Wal-Mart was not.

Overall, it was bumps and bruises for Richlands.

“I believe we fared pretty well,” Whitehead said.


On the other end of the county, cleanup was underway from flooding throughout Swansboro.

“All things considered, overall, the town fared pretty well during the event,” Swansboro Town Manager Scott Chase said in damage assessment for the town board.

A “windshield” assessment found the following damage: water damage at town hall; damage to the walkway and kayak launch at Bicentennial Park; the sign at the Recreation Center was blown down; damage to an awning at Swansboro Elementary School; roof damage to the side addition of Mills and Thomas building; a tree down across Park Place Drive; and fence damage, shutters blown off and tree limb debris at multiple locations around town.


For Sneads Ferry business owner Joe McGreal, Hurricane Matthew made his last few weeks of the season interesting.

“It is going to be a lot of tidying up. We have a wedding here next week. The timing couldn’t have been better,” he joked.

McGreal owns the buildings that house Blackbeards, Her Bohemian Way and NC Extreme Water Sports and Rentals on Fulcher Landing in Sneads Ferry.

Before the brunt of Matthew showed up in the area, Fulcher Landing was under multiple feet of water causing the road into the neighborhood to be barricaded before sunset.

“It is not as bad as it has been before,” McGreal said. “I have replaced some of these wood docks half a dozen times, but these concrete ones have never taken a beating like that before. It is going to be a jigsaw puzzle to put back together.”

Manager of the buildings Matt Calhoun was out early Sunday collecting the wood from the docks behind the trio of businesses that had been destroyed.

All three businesses escaped major flooding. One of Blackbeards’ front window was broken, shingles were sheared from the rental business and the bulk head and back portion of Her Bohemian Way was beginning to collapse.

“With brute strength, ignorance and a lot of hard work,” is how McGreal plans to get the businesses back in working order before the wedding next weekend. “It will be a lot of trips to Lowe’s. The hardest part is finding where to start.”


Recovering from Hurricane Matthew aboard Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River is still in the works as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

Widespread power outages are of main concern to base officials, with no estimate as to when all power will be restored, Director of Public Affairs Nat Fahy said.

“MCAS New River and Camp Geiger have been without power since yesterday evening and there are a number of housing areas and sections across Camp Lejeune also experiencing power outages,” he said. “We are in regular communication with Duke Energy Progress which has crews attempting to make repairs on substations across Eastern North Carolina, to include those that feed Camp Lejeune and New River.”

Several MCCS facilities such as fitness centers and Marine Marts were opened on Sunday after power was restored to those specific areas. Onslow Beach, which experienced moderate erosion is without power and remains closed, according to Fahy.

Most of the major roadways have been open all day and public works officials are now inspecting some of the back roads looking for any damages, downed trees and power lines, or residual flooding.

By Sunday afternoon, shelters in Onslow County had begun to close. However, the Jacksonville Commons Middle School site is expected to remain open until 9 a.m. Monday and will remain special needs and pet-friendly until its closing, according to a press release from Onslow County.