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Warnings issued for Florida as Hurricane Matthew turns from Cuba

Elettra Stolfi | 05 Ottobre, 2016, 16:32

Government officials are anxious about complacency, especially in South Florida, which hasn't seen a major hurricane in 11 years.

Universal Orlando's website doesn't mention the storm, but spokesman Tom Schroder tells the Orlando Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2dJDmMY) the resorts executives are monitoring the storm and are "beginning to decide what the next steps are".

Haitian authorities called on the peacekeepers of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti to assist in the response to the hurricane, said Ariane Quentier, a spokeswoman for the mission. The storm eventually changed course. The state was hit twice in 2004 by Hurricane Charley as well as Hurricane Gaston.

State officials this week have warned residents and visitors of potential miserable times ahead. He moved to Florida from Montana in 2007, so Matthew would be his first storm. Florida, South Carolina and parts of North Carolina have also declared states of emergency. A bridge in the flooded town of Petit Goave was destroyed, preventing any road travel to the hard-hit southwest. Traffic jams on SC highways.

Long lines formed at supermarkets.

"However, Matthew will continue to pose hazards to lives and property across the island nation by unleashing damaging winds, flooding rain, unsafe seas and coastal flooding". Some sought shelter only after the worst was already upon them. The county remains under a tropical storm warning. Some school districts are sending students home early on Wednesday, and after school activities are canceled. The Miami Heat play an National Basketball Association exhibition game in Kansas City on Saturday, and may depart Miami for there - or someplace else - as early as Wednesday afternoon to get ahead of the storm.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is about to make a final decision on evacuation orders.

Haley expects to announce her decision at 9 a.m. Wednesday based on the latest information about the storm.

Officials in the Bahamas urged residents to evacuate to higher ground, and the Ministry for Grand Bahama said on Facebook that government offices in New Providence and Grand Bahama had been closed on Tuesday until further notice.

State officials say lanes on major evacuation routes will be reversed so that all lanes head west.

Matthew, slightly weakened but still a unsafe Category 4 storm with 130 miles per hour winds, 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 USA coast.

- People along the East Coast entered better-safe-than-sorry mode Tuesday, flocking to hardware stores, grocery aisles and gas stations as Hurricane Matthew marched toward Florida, threatening to become the first hurricane to hit the state's Atlantic coast in over a decade.

The easternmost points in Cuba's easternmost province Guantanamo were still getting assaulted by hurricane force winds and rain late Tuesday night, reported CBS News' Portia Siegelbaum from Havana.

The category four hurricane, meaning it can pack winds of between 209 and 251 km per hour, is forecast to dump as much as 200 to 300 mm of rain, up to 500 mm in mountainous areas, and cause flooding along the island's southeastern coast, according to Granma.

Scott advised Florida residents who live near the East Coast to leave before travel becomes hard. REUTERS/Randall Hill Graylan Coleman (R) helps a relative remove furniture at a beachfront home along Waccamaw Drive in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew in Garden City Beach, South Carolina, U.S. October 4, 2016.

Matthew is expected to make a northwest turn on Wednesday as it moves across the Bahamas through Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded the hurricane watch in effect for Palm Beach and Broward Counties to a hurricane warning, which means that hurricane conditions are expected by Thursday in the area that spans from Sebastian Inlet to Golden Beach.

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