Hurricane Matthew Pummels Florida Coast With 100mph Winds and 10 Foot Storm Surges as More Than 600,000 Lose Power
October 7, 2016
Heavy rainfall could trigger major flooding in Jacksonville, Georgia and South Carolina. Hurricane warning has also been extended to North Carolina.
Out of this world: The most recent view of Matthew taken from space, courtesy of Nasa. Pictured to its right is the smaller Category Two hurricane Nicole.
- Hurricane Matthew is currently some 90 miles south east of Jacksonville.
- It has pummeled Florida since early Friday with heavy rain and strong winds.
- Downgraded from a Category 4 to 3 - but that only means a reduction of winds from 130mph to 120mph.
- Powerful storm claimed at least 842 lives in Haiti alone after it ripped through the Caribbean.
- A woman in her late 50s died in St Lucie, Florida, after she suffered a heart attack.
- Orlando's world-famous theme parks - Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld - all closed.
- President Barack Obama has warned it is still a 'dangerous hurricane', especially for Jacksonville.
- Could bring a storm surge of up to 11 feet in some areas and drop up to 15 inches of rain on Florida.
- Heavy rainfall could trigger major flooding in Jacksonville, Georgia and South Carolina.
- Hurricane warning has also been extended to North Carolina.
- Gov Rick Scott of Florida says about 600,000 have been left without power; millions more could suffer.
- Despite the dire warnings, many brave - or stupid - people opted to stay behind and party.
Millions of Americans have been warned that the 'worst effects are still likely to come' as Hurricane Matthew moves up the east coast of Florida, pummeling it with 100mph winds and 10 foot storm surges.
At 11am, the western eyewall of Hurricane Matthew brushed Florida's northeast coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is about 95 miles south east of Jacksonville and just past Daytona Beach, with speeds of about 120mph.
While there are signs that a direct hit with land will be avoided, officials are particularly concerned about low-lying areas in Jacksonville, which could be hit by heavy flooding. A flash flood warning has been issued until 6.15pm.
There are also concerns that heavy Georgia and South Carolina could be hit by heavy flooding, while the hurricane warning has been extended as far as Surf City, North Carolina. The US National Guard has said it expects flooding, rather than wind damage, to be more likely as the storm moves further north.
Gov Rick Scott, speaking at a morning press conference after a day of urging people to evacuate, said some 600,000 people in the state have been left without power, while more than 22,000 people were in shelters. He also said all interstates in Florida would remain open without tolls.
'The storm is only halfway through our state, so we are not through this yet,' he warned. 'We are very concerned about storm surge and the worst effects are still likely to come.'
He added: 'While the storm is still on, don't go outside'.
The storm has claimed more than 840 victims in the Caribbean, while in the US at least one person died.
Hurricane Matthew is seen moving up the east coast of Florida in this infrared image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite taken at 7.45am EDT on Friday.
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