Live coverage of Matthew: Now a Cat 2 Hurricane but still powerful
CHARLESTON, S.C. – As of 7 a.m., the storm’s center was in the Atlantic near South Carolina’s southern coast, about 20 miles east of Hilton Head. It had maximum winds of 105 mph, and hurricane-force winds extended up to 45 miles from center. Still a Category 2 storm.
Storm surges are flooding parts of coastal Georgia and South Carolina, and more are expected in North Carolina. Storm surges of up to 9 feet still are possible from Altamaha Sound, Georgia, to Edisto Beach, South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm could make landfall in South Carolina this morning, and could dump about 8 to 12 inches of rain in the Carolinas.
More than 113,000 SCE&G customers are without power in South Carolina; more than 241,000 Georgia Power customers are without electricity in Georgia; and more than 1 million customers are without power in Florida.
The storm has killed at least 300 people in three Caribbean countries, most of them in Haiti — though that total is likely to rise. Four people died as a result of the storm in Florida.
Hurricane-force winds lashed Tybee Island in Georgia and Hilton Head just over the border in South Carolina, and the National Weather Service measured a record tide level of more than 12 feet at the mouth of the Savannah River, which borders both states.
Nearly 17 inches of rain were recorded at Hunter U.S. Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia over a 48-hour period, according to the National Weather Service.
More than 300,000 people were in the dark in Georgia and 178,000 in South Carolina on Saturday morning. Floodwaters, downed trees and debris clogged roads in much of Matthew’s storm path across three states, rendering Interstate 95 in South Carolina impassible early Saturday.
Six people have died in Florida from the storm.
The hurricane has already claimed hundreds of lives as it tore through Haiti and other Caribbean nations.
The storm is expected to follow the Georgia coast north early Saturday, possibly making landfall around Charleston, South Carolina before continuing on to North Carolina and then veering east over the Atlantic Ocean.
Video courtesy of WCBD News 2 Charleston, South Carolina our ivestream partner.