Here’s what Hurricane Matthew looks like before slamming into the U.S.
A woman walks along a flooded street after leaving her homeless encampment that was washed away by Hurricane Matthew in Savannah, Ga.(Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press)
A woman is lashed by wind in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as Hurricane Matthew moves up the East Coast.(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)
A section of Highway A1A destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Flagler Beach, Fla.(Eric Gay / Associated Press)
David Reedy braves the wind and rain as Hurricane Matthew hits the Isle of Palms, S.C.(Mic Smith / Associated Press)
A resident of Charleston, S.C., makes his way along flooded Battery Street with a rake to clear debris from clogged gutters in the wake of Hurricane Matthew(Brian Blanco / Getty Images)
Residents begin to clear away a fallen tree blocking access to the Frederick Hahn Bridge that links Tybee Island to Savannah, Ga.(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)
A resident walks alongside a damaged boardwalk in Atlantic Beach, Fla., after Hurricane Matthew passed through the area.(Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers use a boat in a flooded area in Savannah, Ga., after Hurricane Matthew passed through the area.(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)
A car drives past a downed tree as Hurricane Matthew moves through Daytona Beach, Fla., on Friday.(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)
A man braces himself against winds as Hurricane Matthew moves through Daytona Beach on Friday.(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)
Rob Napier, 48, right, and his son Robbie, 20, of Merritt Island, Fla., survey an uprooted tree in a neighbor’s yard Friday.(Red Huber / Orlando Sentinel)
Kaleigh Black, 14, left, and Amber Olsen, 12, run for cover as a squall with rain and wind from the remnants of Hurricane Matthew pelts them as they explore the Cocoa Beach Pier on Friday.(Douglas R. Clifford / Associated Press)
Trees sway from heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew in front of Exploration Tower in Cape Canaveral, Fla.(Craig Rubadoux / Associated Press)
Lailoni Kent, 8, screams when the pull of the wave was stronger than she thought while playing on the beach with her family on Lantana Beach while Hurricane Matthew created big waves in Lantana, Fla.(Greg Lovett / Associated Press)
Lights are out on Highway A1A from the winds of Hurricane Matthew in Cocoa Beach, Fla.(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
A man walks past heavy surf caused by Hurricane Matthew in Cocoa Beach, Fla.(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
A downed tree from high winds rests against a car in a residential community after Hurricane Matthew passed through in Ormond Beach, Fla.(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Flags blow in the wind from Hurricane Matthew in Cocoa Beach, Fla.(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
A billboard canvas flaps in the wind after Hurricane Matthew passed offshore in North Palm Beach, Fla.(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)
A Seminole mobile home park resident climbs over an uprooted tree in Fort Pierce, Fla.(Cristobal Herrera / EPA)
A firefighter carries a woman to her bus at the Civic Center during an evacuation ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Savannah, Ga.(Josh Galemore / Associated Press)
Waves crash ashore as Hurricane Matthew approaches Singer Island, Fla.(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
Jose Paseta of Hallandale, Fla., walks along Hollywood Beach amid the beginnings of Hurricane Matthew.(Michael Laughlin / Sun Sentinel)
Strong rain and winds hit Titusville, Fla., before the landfall of Hurricane Matthew.(Bruce Weaver / AFP/Getty Images)
People take photographs on Juno Beach in Palm County, Fla., with Hurricane Matthew en route.(Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel)
Savannah residents board evacuation buses heading to Augusta, Ga.(Josh Galemore / Savannah Morning News)
Mark Oliver surfs the rising waves of Dania Beach for his sponsor in Hollywood, Fla.(Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Rain-drenched people leave Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando.(Gregg Newton / AFP-Getty Images)
The evening commute in Jacksonville, Fla.(Jewel Samad / AFP-Getty Images)
Hurricane warning flags are raised in Isle of Palms, S.C.(Mic Smith / Associated Press)
Traffic stacks up on Interstate 75 near McDonough, Ga., as people flee Hurricane Matthew.(Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Business owners Jacob Ortiz, left, and Ryan Fischer board up their building in Titusville, Fla.(Bruce Weaver / AFP-Getty Images)
Gas stations that ran out of fuel wrapped their pumps in Titusville, Fla.(Bruce Weaver / AFP-Getty Images)
A rush for gas in Titusville, Fla.(Bruce Weaver / AFP-Getty Images)
Getting ready for Hurricane Matthew in Orlando, Fla.(Gregg Newton / AFP-Getty Images)
Evacuees take shelter at a high school in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Hurricane Matthew was headed toward eastern Florida on Thursday evening, packing maximum sustained winds near 140 mph and expected to trigger a dangerous storm surge before heading north toward the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.
The National Weather Service warned that “extremely dangerous, life-threatening weather conditions” were forecast as Matthew regained Category 4 force.
Here’s what we know:
Wind: Maximum sustained winds of 140 mph with stronger gusts.
Ocean: The National Hurricane Center warned that a dangerous storm surge and large, destructive waves could raise water levels far above normal, enough to “likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.” Tide levels were forecast to potentially surge 7 to 11 feet from Florida’s Sebastian Inlet to Edisto Beach in South Carolina, including portions of Florida’s St. Johns River, the longest in the state.
Rain: Between 4 and 8 inches of rainfall were expected for coastal areas of eastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, with some isolated cases of 12 inches of precipitation.
Evacuations: By Thursday, more than 2 million people in the hurricane’s predicted path were under evacuation orders across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared that “time is up” and ordered 1.5 million of his citizens to evacuate.
National Guard deployments: More than 4,000 members of the National Guard in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas have been activated, included 2,500 in Florida.
Flights canceled: More than 2,500 flights have been canceled from Wednesday to Friday, according to FlightAware.com.
Caribbean situation: Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Bahamas, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were all facing Matthew’s impact.
Death toll: By Thursday, the storm had killed more than 130 people in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, according to reports from humanitarian organizations.
Worst impact: Haiti, where Matthew made landfall Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane, was the most deeply affected as of Thursday. At least 108 people were killed, according to Haitian officials, who said 28,000 homes had been damaged. The United Nations reported that about 350,000 people were in need of immediate assistance.
What’s next? For Florida, it may not even be over when it’s over. Some forecast models show Matthew making mischief — visiting Florida on Friday, tracking north and east over the weekend, and then heading back south to threaten the Orange State once again early next week.
For more on global development news follow me @AMSimmons1 on Twitter
4:30 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information.
This article was originally published at 3:10 p.m.
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