Deadly Hurricane Matthew Strengthens, Prepares To Strike East Coast As Florida Braces For ‘A Direct Hit’

As Hurricane Matthew ups its Haiti death toll to at least 108 people and leaves “wreckage and misery everywhere,” the East Coast is anticipating the worst. About two million people were ordered to evacuate in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina with North Carolina on standby for a possible future order. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has urged people to heed the evacuation warnings and “prepare for a direct hit.” He reminds residents that this storm could change paths at any moment, and even the slightest wavering could have a huge impact: “This storm will kill you. Time is running out.”

Current projections place Matthew at Category 4 when it arrives in Florida some time late Thursday or very early Friday. The state is already seeing the first bands of rain clouds as the mammoth storm — one of the strongest the Atlantic has seen in a decade — began to make its presence known. The storm is expected to at least graze the East Coast as it continues ascending. Southeast Georgia will likely feel Matthew’s effects on Friday and Saturday with the Eastern Carolinas playing host to the mammoth from Friday all the way to Sunday.

The Florida coast could see a massive storm surge (up to 3 feet in Miami with Daytona Beach seeing a possible 9 feet) once Matthew settles in. This video shows the water looking pretty choppy in Miami right now.

The East Coast is keeping a sense of humor if this picture is any indication.

Here’s a video of Matthew whipping tiles from a rooftop in the Bahamas.

(Via CBS Miami, The Weather Channel, USA Today and CNN)

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