Sabato, 26 Mag, 2018

Hurricane Matthew bears down on Florida, leaving destruction in its wake

Rufina Vignone | 05 Ottobre, 2016, 16:29

And Matthew wasn't finished.

It will near the coast of Florida late Thursday and be closest to Jacksonville on Friday.

Southeastern Florida was under hurricane and tropical storm warnings for Wednesday.

Even though Hurricane Matthew has left Haiti for Cuba, Haiti is not out of danger.

Matthew remained a strong Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.

Matthew remains a Category 4 storm with 140 mile per hour winds over the Caribbean. Now, the storm wouldn't be out of our area until 8 p.m. that same night.

A tropical storm watch was in effect for the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata westward to the border with Haiti.

The storm whipped at Cuba's sparsely populated eastern tip Tuesday night, as it headed for a two-day run up the length of the Bahamas that would take it near the US coast.

Officials said they were trying to restore access to Haiti's southern peninsula after the collapse of the La Digue bridge but admitted it would be hard to find an alternative route.

Matthew was at one point a Category 5 storm, making it the most powerful hurricane in the region for almost a decade.

"Heavy rain is a real concern because it could knock out bridges and roads, cause mudslides and wash away crops, leaving people with little or no food", said Liz Schwartz, a foundation spokeswoman.

Rainfall totals were predicted to reach 15 to 25 inches in Haiti, with up to 40 inches in isolated places. Life-threatening rain and storm surge was expected in parts of Haiti by early Tuesday morning.

Jocelerme Privert, Haiti's interim president, had urged residents to evacuate ahead of the storm's arrival.

The big question for those in the USA will be Matthew's long-range path.

That will take the center of what is still expected to be a major Hurricane Matthew alarmingly close to the coast of Florida.

Cuba's government declared a hurricane alert for six eastern provinces and workers removed traffic lights from poles in the city of Santiago to keep them from falling when the storm hit.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott warned residents to prepare for evacuations and power outages.

If Matthew heads out to sea south of New England, coastal regions could see 1 to 2 inches of rain, although 3 to 6 inches is possible. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will be off the southern coast of North Carolina by 2 p.m. Saturday, and will have weakened to 110 miles per hour wind speeds.

In the US, residents flocked to grocery stores and gas stations as emergencies were declared in four states - all of Florida and SC, eastern and central North Carolina and southeastern Georgia. Unfortunately, as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, that is starting to look like the US East Coast.

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