UPDATE: Hurricane Matthew ravaged Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina. At least 40 in the United States have died because of the hurricane. The estimated damage – most notably in the Carolinas – is 10 billion dollars. Much of Matthew-related costs will be shouldered by the residents: some homeowners were uninsured and of those insured, most have high deductibles. Human deaths and material damage are traditionally listed, first. Human suffering, interrupted lives and lost jobs are harder to quantify. Despite of the repeatedly lowered category of Hurricane Matthew, the damage it caused is massive.
ORIGINAL STORY: After inflicting extensive damage and killing hundreds of people in Haiti last Thursday, Category 3 Hurricane Matthew has arrived on Florida’s coast. Florida is being battered by hurricane-force winds (wind gusts of 107 mph have been recorded at Cape Canaveral, FL), coastal flooding and storm surge flooding. There are currently 22,000 Floridians in emergency shelters. Two are dead and over one million without power. Still, in spite of dire predictions, Hurricane Matthew appears to have spared Florida a direct hit.
The forecast based on satellite and radar imagery is continually adjusted. According to The Weather Channel right now, the anticipated route and schedule of Hurricane Matthew is:
- East-central, northeastern Florida: Through Friday night
- Georgia coast: Friday evening through Saturday morning
- South Carolina: Saturday through Saturday evening
- North Carolina (mainly south): Saturday afternoon through early Sunday
As Matthew turns north, heavy rain which may lead to rainfall flooding is expected mainly along the coastline of northeast Florida, eastern Georgia and South Carolina.
State of emergency has been declared in Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina.
“It’s going to get a lot worse before it (has) a chance of getting better.” warns Richard Knabb, the Director of National Hurricane Center.
President Obama following a meeting with the leadership of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security said: “I want to emphasize to everybody that this is still a really dangerous hurricane.”