Hurricane Matthew Has Made Landfall On Haiti
The storm made landfall near Les Anglais, Haiti at around 7 a.m. this morning. The storm brought 145 mph winds and ferocious rain.
The hurricane has already killed at least three people and caused cruise ships to change course. Forecasters said mudslides and flash floods are even more likely for the western part of Haiti now.
At 8 a.m. the category 4 hurricane was moving north across Haiti at about 9 mph, according to the hurricane center.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) October 4, 2016
Florida Under State Of Emergency
Governor Rick Scott has signed Executive Order 16-230 declaring a state of emergency for all Florida counties. Scott visited the City of Hialeah Emergency Operations Center today to meet with management officials when he signed the order.
Governor Scott said, per abc action news, “Hurricane Matthew is a life-threatening category four hurricane and we must all take it seriously. If Hurricane Matthew directly impacts Florida, there could be massive destruction which we haven’t seen since Hurricane Andrew devastated Miami-Dade County in 1992. That is why we cannot delay and must prepare for direct impact now. Today, I signed an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in every Florida county to ensure we have resources for evacuations, sheltering and other logistical needs across our state. We are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best and we will not take any chances to ensure our state is prepared.
“Hurricane Matthew has already killed four people and nobody wants that number to rise. As I said during Hurricane Hermine, we can rebuild a home or a business, but we cannot rebuild your life. The best way to prevent further loss is to get prepared now and take this storm seriously. Having a plan in place could mean the difference between life and death during severe weather, especially a major category four hurricane.
“Although Matthew is not currently projected to directly impact Florida, we all know how quickly the track of these storms can change. While there are no evacuation orders currently in place, this storm could threaten our state with very little notice and no one should be caught off guard. If an evacuation order is activated in your area, leave immediately. Once severe weather comes, our first responders will not be able to rescue you until the weather subsides.
“Our National Guard stands ready to be deployed if needed. I am also in contact with the utilities across the state and will stay in communication with them regarding their plans if there are any power outages. We are taking steps to move additional fuel to the state’s east coast. On the Florida Turnpike, we also have extra fuel trucks on standby to get anywhere in our state. Again, while we are preparing for the worst, we are hoping for the best and will not take any chances with a storm of this magnitude.”
The National Hurricane Center continues to track the storm east of Florida as a category 4.
Hurricane Matthew Could Be Devastating To Haiti
Haiti is likely to receive a devastating blow from the storm later tonight into early Tuesday morning. The storm is expected to bring 40 inches of rain to vulnerable Haiti and the National Hurricane Center is calling Matthew “extremely dangerous.”
Unfortunately conditions look favorable for Matthew to maintain its strength as it hits Haiti and Jamaica. As of 8 a.m. on Monday, the storm was a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph. It was about 220 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, which is already being drowned with torrents of rain, and is moving north at about 6 mph.
The increased amount of rain and wind has Haiti’s residents fears of deadly mudslides and floods on the rise. According to Fox News, officials with Haiti’s civil protection agency said there were roughly 1,300 emergency shelters across the country, enough to hold up to 340,000 people. Teams of civil protection officials walked through Les Cayes urging residents to secure their homes, prepare emergency kits and warn their neighbors.
It is now one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history. It briefly reached a category 5, becoming the strongest hurricane in the region since Felix in 2007. The hurricane center has reported that the storm appears to be on track of swiping east of Florida through the Bahamas, but it is still too early to know the real threat the storm has on the U.S.
Florida Prepares For Matthew
The big question those living of Florida’s east coast is how will Matthew effect the state from Miami to Jacksonville. At the moment there is not expected to be a clean hit on Florida as it hits the Bahamas.
Beyond that, it remains uncertain how close the hurricane’s eyewall will pass near the northwest Bahamas later Thursday into Friday, and it is still too soon to determine which parts of the U.S. may be in danger late this week and next weekend.
For now, ensemble forecast guidance suggests we can’t rule out at least tropical storm-force winds along the eastern Florida coast in the Thursday-Friday timeframe.
However, repeated runs of forecast guidance suggest at least a decent chance of tropical storm-force winds near the coast of the Carolinas and southeast Virginia Friday into Saturday.
Even if it stays well to the east of Florida and the East Coast, dangerous swells, coastal flooding and beach erosion are likely, particularly from the Virginia Tidewater south late this week into the weekend.
We also cannot yet rule out a close call for the rest of the Northeast seaboard, including New England and even Atlantic Canada, later this weekend.
All interests in the Caribbean Sea, Bahamas, U.S. East Coast and Atlantic Canada should continue to monitor the progress of Matthew. Preparations in Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas should be well underway.
George F.L. Charles Airport on St. Lucia picked up 9.21 inches of rain Wednesday. On the south side of the island, Hewanorra Int’l Airport picked up 13.19 inches of rain in just 12 hours from 8 p.m. Wednesday through 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the Antigua Met Service.
VIDEO REPORTS FOR MATTHEW ARE FROM MIAMI CBS STATION WFOR