BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Hurricane Matthew remains a dangerous storm, impacting thousands of miles of the east coast. The CBS42 team is near the Florida-Georgia line, tracking the storm which was downgraded to a category 3 overnight.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla. the eyewall of “dangerous Hurricane Matthew [is] hugging the coast of Central Florida.”
Maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour are moving northwest at 13 miles per hour. The center is located about 35 miles NNE of Cape Canaveral, Fla. Hurricane Matthew is a huge concern for millions of people along the east coast, as torrential rainfall and storm surge have the potential to be catastrophic.
The official forecast track shows Matthew looping back around:
About 2 million people have been urged to evacuate from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Almost all of Florida’s Atlantic Coast and the entire coast of Georgia are under a hurricane warning. About half a million people in Georgia are under some sort of evacuation order, either voluntary or mandatory.
Early Friday morning, Matthew hit Florida’s Atlantic coast, toppling trees and causing power outages but largely sparing the more populated stretches of shoreline.
Authorities warn the danger is far from over.
“Remember, it could be the worst of it is yet to come,” Gov. Rick Scott said in the morning.
The hurricane left over 280 people dead as it moved through the Caribbean earlier this week.
Florida’s governor called it a “blessing” that so far Florida was avoiding a direct hit as the storm sliced northward.
Still, forecasters said it could dump up to 15 inches of rain in some spots and cause a storm surge of 9 feet or more. They said the major threat to the Southeast would not be the winds — which newer buildings can withstand — but the massive surge of seawater that could wash over coastal communities.
Associated Press writers Mike Schneider and Kelli Kennedy contributed to this report.