Hurricane Matthew downgraded to tropical cyclone as death toll climbs to 18

After unleashing days of havoc and fear across the Atlantic coast, Matthew has finally been stripped of its hurricane status. 

Matthew was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone just before daybreak Sunday morning as it began making its slow exit to the sea. 

The storm killed 18 people in the United States as it hit Florida and then traveled up the East Coast, having already left nearly 900 people dead in its wake in Haiti, according to ABC News.  

Matthew unloaded more than a foot of rain on North Carolina, its final stop, on Saturday night and flooded homes and businesses as far as 100 miles inland. 

It finally moved out to sea around 5am on Sunday and was centered about 60 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, sustaining hurricane-force winds of 75 mph.

President Obama signed major disaster declarations for Florida and Georgia on Sunday morning. 

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