The Category 4 hurricane, Matthew, moving through the northwest Bahamas is hours away from potentially becoming catastrophic giving weather reports reasons to believe that it may go into a Category 5 hurricane near Florida’s east coast.
The Weather Channel reported that tropical storm force winds have begun to roll ashore on Florida’s east coast. Palm Beach International Airport has gusted as high as 50 mph so far.It is also projected that this is one of the most destructive winds anyone in parts of the northeast and east-central Florida coast has seen in their lifetime. The last, and only, Category 4 hurricane to make landfall anywhere in northeast Florida or the Georgia coast was an 1898 hurricane south of St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Embedded in NWS-Melbourne’s hurricane local statement Thursday morning were these chilling paragraphs:
WIDESPREAD EXTENSIVE TO DEVASTATING WIND IMPACTS WILL BE FELT.
AIRBORNE DEBRIS LOFTED BY EXTREME WINDS WILL BE CAPABLE OF BREACHING
STRUCTURES, UNPROTECTED WINDOWS AND VEHICLES. EFFECTS SUCH AS THESE
RANGING FROM THE COAST TO WELL INLAND HAVE NOT BEEN EXPERIENCED IN
CENTRAL FLORIDA IN DECADES.
LOCAL WINDS WILL EXCEED WHAT OCCURRED DURING THE HURRICANES OF
2004. ANY EVACUATIONS AND STRUCTURE PREPARATION SHOULD BE COMPLETED
THIS AFTERNOON. TRAVEL WILL BE STRONGLY DISCOURAGED BEGINNING AT DUSK.
EXPECT WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES.
Impacts from Matthew could lead to locations being uninhabitable for weeks or months! Hurricane warnings have been extended northward to South Santee River, South Carolina. This includes locations such as Orlando, Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. Jacksonville had not been under a hurricane warning in 17 years, until now.
Please check on your families and friends that are in these areas if power is available.