Hurricane Matthew Prompts Evacuations from Florida to the Carolinas
UPDATED 5 PM EDT — Hurricane Watches have been extended northward to Savannah, GA. Matthew remains a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, but some strengthening is anticipated over the next 24 hours. Hurricane Matthew is moving toward the northwest at about 12 mph. Hurricane force winds extended outward from the center by about 45 miles.
Hurricane conditions will continue for the central and northwestern Bahamas tonight and tomorrow. As many as 12-15″ of rain could fall in isolated spots. By late tomorrow, the Hurricane Warning area on Florida’s eastern coast should begin to see hurricane conditions. The central part of Florida’s coast is forecast to receive anywhere from 4-10″ of rainfall. Storm surge related flooding is also a likely possibility for many coastal areas.
PREVIOUS — Hurricane Matthew has weakened slightly after passing over the mountains in Cuba to a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds around 120 mph. Some strengthening is expected over the next few days as Matthew moves north through the Bahamas at about 12 mph.
Much of the eastern Florida coastline is under either a Hurricane Warning or Tropical Storm Warning. Evacuations have been ordered from Florida to the Carolinas. If you live in any of these areas be sure to check with local authorities regarding evacuation orders.
States of Emergencies have been declared in Florida and South Carolina as well as parts of Georgia and North Carolina. Gov. Nikki Haley stated that a total evacuation of South Carolina’s coast will take place on Wednesday. That means that 1.1 million of the state’s 4.8 million people will need to evacuate. Multiple colleges will be closed for the rest of the week and South Carolina State’s Saturday football game has been postponed.
In Florida, a mandatory evacuation order is in place for Brevard county and voluntary evacuations have been activated in St. Lucie county. Gov. Rick Scott has urged all coastal residents to evacuate. Long lines have been reported at gas stations across these areas and shelves are empty at many grocery and home improvement stores as people stock up on food, bottled water, generators, and other items.
Matthew will bring strong winds, storm surge, heavy rain, and flooding. Some spots in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina could see over a foot of rainfall later this week.
Stay tuned for updates as Hurricane Matthew moves closer to the U.S. later this week.
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