Hurricane Matthew Sends Looters, Snakes, Rodents Into Homes

October 21, 2016

Authorities say looters broke into dozens of Beaufort County, S.C., homes after residents evacuated the area to flee from Hurricane Matthew.

Citing incident reports, The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports that 47 burglary cases were reported to the Sheriff’s Office from Oct. 5 through Oct. 11. Eleven of those break-ins were reported on Hilton Head Island, while nine occurred on St. Helena Island.

Bluffton and Beaufort police also received multiple reports of burglaries.

Items reported missing include guns, televisions, jewelry, cash and outdoor furniture. One woman said looters took sausage from her refrigerator but made the bed.

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Cpt. Bob Bromage says the small chance of getting burglarized should not be a reason for homeowners to risk their lives by ignoring evacuation orders.

Looters weren’t the only ones that reportedly entered homes without permission.

Floodwaters in Lumberton, N.C., after Hurricane Matthew.  Photo: FEMA/Jocelyn Augustino
Floodwaters in Lumberton, N.C., after Hurricane Matthew. Photo: FEMA/Jocelyn Augustino

Flood waters from Hurricane Matthew not only drove hundreds of families from their homes in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. They also forced insects, rodents and snakes from their natural surroundings as well.

The Fayetteville Observer reports the unprecedented water has led to a march of biting and stinging creatures across the area. Justin Jackson of Stedman said his attempt to save his wife’s decorations from flood waters resulted in an encounter with fire ants.

In addition, rats that were chased from flooding basements have begun looking for new homes, and that means snakes flooded from their holes were looking for the rats.

Daniel Ortiz of the Cumberland County Department of Public Health says mosquitoes are also a potential problem because of standing water, which can be a breeding ground.

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