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Hurricane Matthew Makes Landfall In S.C.; 'Serious Inland Flooding' Reported

Rufina Vignone | 09 Ottobre, 2016, 17:15

"I'm homeless", said the woman, who called herself Valerie.

It also says a newly expanded hurricane watch now extends from the Altamaha Sound up the coast to the South Santee River in SC.

The storm raked the city of St Augustine, Florida, last Friday.

"While the storm is still on, don't go outside", Scott said. About 500,000 people were under evacuation orders in the Jacksonville area, along with another half-million on the Georgia coast.

The cyclone is so powerful that meteorologist Eric Holthaus, in a post for the Pacific Standard, has said "Matthew is a storm unlike any yet seen" in some parts of Florida.

As the storm closed in, an estimated 2 million people in Florida, Georgia and SC were warned to move inland to escape the fury of the most powerful hurricane to menace the US Atlantic coast in more than a decade.

Damage assessments are just starting to trickle in for Florida. The agency also said "catastrophic damage is anticipated for coastal areas".

"People should not be looking at the damages they're seeing and saying this storm is not that bad", Fugate told NBC.

Matthew was just barely a hurricane at 11am local time, with winds of 120kmh, a drop-off from 230kmh when the storm roared into Haiti. As it continued north, a storm surge of 7 to 11 feet were possible. These are very vulnerable areas.

Florida Govs. Rick Scott said officials are particularly concerned about low-lying areas in and around Jacksonville, where there is potential for significant flooding.

The storm downed power lines and trees and destroyed billboards in Cape Canaveral, reported Jeff Piotrowski, a 40-year-old storm chaser from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

At 5 a.m. EDT, Matthew's eye was about 20 miles (30 km) south-southeast of Hilton Head, South Carolina, and moving northward at 12 mph (19 kph) with the storm packing 105 mph (165 kph) winds, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The National Weather Service is warning that the storm surge could be stronger than the one that wreaked havoc on the New Jersey shore in 2012. The last major hurricane, classified as a storm bearing sustained winds of more than 177 kph, to make landfall on US shores was Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The storm went on to hit the Bahamas two days later, with no fatalities reported. Hundreds of thousands more lost power in Georgia and SC.

Some Floridians were resisting calls to evacuate.

Roads in Florida, Georgia and North and SC were jammed, and gas stations and food stores ran out of supplies as the storm approached early on Thursday.

One woman said she left her home near Fort Lauderdale and flew to Minnesota to escape the storm, saying she had no choice but to leave.

"There's that whole inability to suspend disbelief that I think really affects people in a time like this", Shaver said.

Lack of means to move was one reason some people stayed in New Orleans before it was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

More than two million resident of the U.S. Southeast have been ordered to move inland as the storm sweeps up the country's east coast.

North Carolina governor Pat McCrory warned people not to let their guard down just because Matthew was losing steam. The storm's center could be near or over the coasts of Georgia and SC on Saturday, the hurricane center said.

After a protracted and violent journey up the southeast USA seaboard, a weakened Hurricane Matthew made landfall Saturday in SC, inundating a vast stretch of the coast with torrential rain and triggering floods far inland. The city was founded by the Spanish in the 1500s and includes a 17th-century stone fortress and many historic homes turned into bed-and-breakfasts.

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