On Oct. 6, 2016, Hurricane Matthew is poised to hit Florida with sustained winds of 140 mph with higher gusts. The storm is considered a category 4 with the possibility of reaching a level 5. According to the National Hurricane Center, even if the storm remains offshore the effects will be catastrophic.
The Washington Post reports that the hurricane will be the first Category 4 to make landfall on the southeastern seaboard since 1851; when the record keeping began.
Hurricane specialist, Bryan Norcross, stated:
There has never been a hurricane like this in East-Central Florida. There is nothing to compare it to. If it comes ashore on or south of the Treasure Coast – the counties immediately north of Palm beach – with the intensity that is forecast, [the] damage will far exceed what we saw in Frances and Jeanne in 2004.
The Florida Governor Rick Scott and President Barack Obama forewarned residents by designating a state of emergency in anticipation of the tremendous damage. They are urging everyone in the path of the hurricane to heed the warnings and find a safe place to ride out Matthew.
All times in list below are EDT.
- 2:21 p.m., The Washington Post reported the hurricane would strike the area between the Georgia border and West Palm Beach, Fla. Given its path, the National Weather Service Matthew is likely to hit the Carolinas as well.
- 2:32 p.m., Sun Sentinel newspaper reported that Fort Lauderdale, Fla., airport measured gusts of 59 mph. The area has suffered a power outage.
- 4:32 p.m. the airport at Palm Beach, Fla. announced via Twitter that it had canceled all flights.
- 4:56 p.m., The National Weather Service (NOAA) stated the eye of the storm is near Freeport, Bahamas
- 4:59 p.m., NOAA reports that Matthew is approximately 100 miles from West Palm Beach, Fla.
- 5:06 p.m. Governor Nikki Haley announced an evacuation of Jasper and Colleton counties in South Carolina
- 5:28 p.m., Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for all of the counties in North Carolina.
- 5:38 p.m., The National Hurricane Center posted a tweet indicating that the storm surge watch and warning area now extends from North Carolina to Florida.
- 10:15 p.m., According to a WESH2 News Twitter post, there is a curfew in effect until 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 in Orange County, Fla.
- 10:25 p.m., Florida Power and Light reports that nearly 66,000 customers are without power as a result of the hurricane.
The storm devastated Haiti and left over 250 dead in its wake.
Written by Cathy Milne
The Washington Post: A detailed breakdown of the severe hurricane impacts facing Florida’s east coast
The Weather Channel: Hurricane Matthew a Potentially Catastrophic Category 4 or 5 Strike Ahead on Florida’s East Coast; Strongest in Decades
Image Courtesy of Richard Schatzberger’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License