As Hurricane Matthew strengthens and heads out of Bahamas to the US east coast, 2 million people who reside in Florida, Carolina and Georgia are bracing themselves for the category 4 storm. Even though the eye of the storm is expected to hit Florida directly, other US states in the southeastern part are still at risk of being hit. The storm will hit the east coast and breeze through land on Thursday and Friday and tropical storms may last until Saturday afternoon as the storm heads north.
The governors of the 3 states, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, have declared a state of emergency due to the danger posed by the storm. The last hurricane to hit the US coastlines was Hurricane Wilma in 2005, which resulted in the death of 35 people and damage to property worth $ 20 billion.
The National Weather Service predicts that the storm will hit Orlando on Friday, 7th October morning with powerful winds than what it faced in 2004 with Hurricane Charley. It is expected that the worst hit will take place at 5 am Friday morning, with the lead up to it starting late Thursday evening.
The Weather Underground predicted that the assault of the storm will start on Thursday night with torrential rains and high winds, which could result in a lot of damage. Other areas that are under hurricane warning include Osceola, Seminole, Volusia and Orange counties.
Even though the storm dumped several inches of rain in Haiti, it is expected that it will not rain as much in the US as it did in Haiti, so widespread flooding is not expected. However, the South Florida Water Management District still lowered water in its canal systems throughout the region to minimize chances of flooding in case they get more rain than expected. Nevertheless, it is predicted that the storm will dump a few inches of rain water in some areas. Rainfall in several counties could reach up to several inches high, with possibilities of it getting to 10 inches in Brevard or up to 8 inches in Orlando.
Various Southeastern ports in Florida were closed. This includes the ports of Miami, Port of Palm Beach, Miami River, and Port Everglades among others. No ships are allowed to dock and there is no traffic coming in or going out of the ports.
Florida Power and Light, which is the biggest supplier of electricity in the state stated that it had 4, 000 workers on standby, ready to perform any repairs to damages brought about by the hurricane. Gas stations, department stores and home improvement stores also experienced high sales, as people stocked up in preparation for the storm.
There is a possibility that the storm could loop back to the south after it has gotten off Georgia or North Carolina, which means that there could be another storm run in Florida a week after the current storm passes through.