Meteorologist Captures Eerie Satellite Image of Hurricane Matthew As it Heads Toward U.S.

Meteorologist Matt Devitt captured this eerie image of hurricane Matthew during his newscast on WINK yesterday.

Do you see a skull?

Hurricane Matthew likely won’t strike the U.S. for another day — but after seeing its devastating impact on Haiti, many are not taking chances.

They’ve raided stores for supplies, waited in seemingly endless gas station lines and evacuated their homes as the storm threatens much of the East Coast.

After its harsh winds and heavy rains assailed Caribbean nations, Hurricane Matthew continued early Wednesday its march toward the US. The deadly hurricane, which has sustained winds at 125 mph as it heads toward the Bahamas, has triggered a hurricane warning for parts of Florida — and started to cause headaches elsewhere along the East Coast.

Forecasters predict it will be a Category 4 hurricane by the time it brushes up against the East Coast — including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina — sometime between Thursday evening and Saturday.

The Hurricane Center said the storm could make landfall in any of those states. It also noted that long-range forecasting can be imprecise and cautioned each of those areas to be on guard.

“When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do … it becomes very difficult to estimate impacts this far in advance,” the hurricane center said.

State officials this week have warned residents and visitors of potential miserable times ahead. So far, Florida gas stations attendants have seen long lines, South Carolina motorists have endured heavy gridlock on highways and North Carolina tourists have been told to cut their vacations short.

Here are how Southern states are preparing for potential effects as Matthew moves north:

Florida braces for ‘direct hit’

Earlier this week Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for the entire state. In doing so, 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.

“We have to be prepared for a major hurricane,” Scott said. “We have to prepare for a direct hit.”



Georgia governor: ‘Remain calm but vigilant’

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in 13 coastal counties.

“We urge residents in these areas to remain calm but vigilant as they prepare for potential impact,” Deal said.

Massive gridlock in South Carolina

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who also declared a state of emergency, said the emergency workers would begin medical evacuations ahead of Hurricane Matthew on Tuesday and coastal evacuations on Wednesday afternoon.

Kim Stenson, the state’s emergency management director, said Tuesday morning more than 1 million people might be affected by evacuation orders.


North Carolina tourists sent packing

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for more than half of the state’s 100 counties.

“Many of our central and eastern counties are already saturated from storms during the past few weeks,” North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said. “We are preparing for additional flooding, downed trees and widespread power outages in the coming days.”