Southeastern U.S. States Prepare for Possible Hurricane Matthew Impacts; North Carolina and Florida Declare State of Emergency

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Although it is too early to know for certain where Matthew will head after it hits the Greater Antilles, authorities in several Southeastern states are making plans should the storm decide to take aim at U.S. soil.

For now, all interests along the Southeast coast should continue to monitor the progress of Matthew closely, says weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.

“Matthew could pass near or just off the Southeast coast late this week into the weekend. Even if the center of the hurricane does stay offshore, we would still have the potential for coastal flooding, beach erosion, battering surf, rain and gusty winds,” said Dolce. “The magnitude of any of those impacts will depend on Matthew’s track and intensity at that time.”

Already, emergencies have been declared in two states – all of Florida, as well as eastern and central North Carolina. In both states, the decision was made because governors wanted to make resources available for what may become a large-scale preparation if Matthew were to threaten.

Here’s the latest on how preparations are going.

Florida
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said during a press conference on Monday that he had declared a state of emergency because of expected impacts from Matthew.

On Sunday, Scott said that he was taking no chances with the storm, calling it “catastrophic.” He is urging residents to be prepared, according to NBC News.

“If it hits our state, we could see impacts that we have not seen in many years,” Scott said.

Scott’s spokeswoman, Jackie Schutz, said on Monday that the governor had canceled Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting to visit the state’s emergency operations centers along Florida’s east coast, according to the AP.

The U.S. Coast Guard issued an advisory to boaters in southeastern Florida Monday, saying they should begin to prepare for Hurricane Matthew.

While ports and facilities remain open to commercial traffic, all oceangoing vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons “should make plans for departing the port,” the Coast Guard said in its press release.

Pleasure-boat owners are being advised to seek safe harbor.

North Carolina
On Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for 66 counties in central and eastern North Carolina, according to the Associated Press.

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SOURCE: Weather.com, Pam Wright

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