Storm Warning: Matthew
Massive Hurricane Matthew threatens to be most devastating hurricane since Andrew. Government issues evacuation orders, warns of massive damage to come.
As residents board windows, the Hurricane Warning Center warns that the size/scope of Matthew could leave some residents of the east coast without power for many days.
Authorities in Florida and South Carolina began evacuating hundreds of thousands of people Wednesday as Hurricane Matthew roared closer to the U.S. after leaving a path of destruction across Haiti.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach parts of the Florida coast by early Thursday, and hurricane conditions will intensify in some areas later in the day, the National Hurricane Center warned.
Matthew had top sustained winds of 120 mph, a Category 3 hurricane, Wednesday morning and could strengthen in coming days, the center said.
"People have less than 24 hours to prepare," Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned Wednesday morning. "Having a plan could be the difference between life and death."
At least 11 deaths have been attributed to the powerful storm as it has marched across the Caribbean this week, five of them in Haiti. With a key bridge washed out there, roads impassable and phone communications down, there was no further word on the dead or injured. At 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, the storm was about 105 miles south of the Bahamas, heading northwest at 12 mph.
Florida and South Carolina prepared to evacuate more than 1 million people as the U.S. braced for the most powerful storm to smash through the region in almost a decade.
The much anticipated Hurricane Matthew made landfall Tuesday night near the eastern tip of Cuba at about 8 p.m. ET as other places made preparations to protect themselves and braced for the worst.
The powerful category 4 storm was carrying maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and moving north at 8 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. At 11 p.m. ET, it was about 55 miles east by northeast of Guantanamo, the center reported.
In the United States, bottled water flew off supermarket shelves along Florida's Atlantic Coast and South Carolina prepared to evacuate more than 1 million people as the nation braced itself for the most powerful storm to smash through the region in almost a decade.