After severe, fatal impacts in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew’s outer rain bands reached Florida in the early hours of Thursday morning.
This will be the first hurricane to hit Florida in over a decade, and seems likely to become one of the most dangerous and costly storms the United States has experienced since at least Sandy in 2012. Florida governor Rick Scott said that no matter its precise path, “the effects will be devastating.”
The storm is expected to move up along Florida’s eastern coast beginning very early Friday morning as a Category-4 hurricane with storm surges as high as six to nine feet in some areas.
Because the storm will move up the coast, rather than cross over into land, the National Hurricane Center warns that wobbles in the storm’s path could significantly change which areas see the most intense impacts.
The eye of the storm should approach Georgia by early Saturday morning, rolling across the state’s coastline and South Carolina’s over the course of the day. North Carolina could also begin feeling the storm Saturday or early Sunday. It should turn out to sea before nearing Virginia.
Because Matthew has rain bands extending miles from its eye, wind, rain, and tropical storm conditions could arrive long before the most intense hurricane-force winds and surge.
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