Hurricane Matthew: Americans evacuate as cyclone nears

Hurricane Matthew: Americans evacuate as cyclone nears

(CNN)With Hurricane Matthew ready to slam the United States in the next day or two, time is running out to get ready.

The deadly storm could make landfall Friday morning on Florida’s east coast, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.
“That means people have less than 24 hours to prepare, evacuate and shelter. Having a plan in place could mean the difference between life and death.”
Matthew has already killed 10 people and carved a trail of destruction in several Caribbean countries. Next in its path: the Bahamas and United States.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Matthew hurled 120 mph (195 kph) winds as it churned toward the Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center said.
The hurricane was about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Long Island, Bahamas, and was moving northwest at 12 mph.
Forecasters predicted Matthew will strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane by the time it lashes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina sometime between Thursday evening and Saturday.
President Barack Obama warned Americans in the storm’s path to pay attention and take any evacuation orders seriously. He said if the core of the storm strikes Florida, it could have a “devastating effect.”
Scott declared a state of emergency for the entire state. He warned that a direct hit by Matthew could lead to “massive destruction” on a level unseen since Hurricane Andrew devastated the Miami area in 1992.
Brevard County commissioners ordered one of the state’s first mandatory evacuations for residents of Merritt Island and other barrier islands.
Residents must leave starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Palm Beach residents already cleared many grocery store shelves ahead of the storm.

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