Hurricane Matthew hugging the Florida coast early Friday morning. NOAA/GOES

It’s killed hundreds in Haiti and could deliver major damage from Florida to the Carolinas.

The fury of Hurricane Matthew is well in the open, with reports of more than 840 dead in Haiti, where many neighborhoods look strafed and cluster-bombed.

Now as the storm creeps up the coast of Florida, and Georgia and South Carolina after, forecasters are ringing every bell within reach about its dangers. Matthew is “unlike any hurricane in the modern era,” says the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Florida. “A major hurricane [has] not impacted this area in 118 years, since October 2nd 1898.”

NHC/NOAA

According to these doom nuggets from the worst-case scenario described in Jacksonville’s media briefing, it could deliver gusts up to 140 mph, a storm surge “MUCH larger” than 2012’s Sandy in New Jersey, and… well, just read:

• Major Hurricane Matthew is forecasted by the National Hurricane Center to move DANGEROUSLY CLOSE [to] the Florida First Coast and Southeast Georgia Coast Friday through Friday night into Saturday with catastrophic impacts expected along and near the coast….
• The western eyewall is forecasted to move along a portions of the coast with sustained winds 115 to 125 mph and gusts to 140 mph expected in the Flagler and St Johns County Coastal areas.
• Winds could be higher in high rise structures such as in Downtown Jacksonville possibly strong Category 4 intensity!
• Some of the lowest barrier islands will be completely overtopped with large battering waves and life threatening flooding. Barrier islands are likely to breached and it is extremely possible that new inlets will be cut in the worst affected areas.
• Please, Please heed the advice of public and emergency management officials. 40 people in New York and New Jersey did not heed these warning during Sandy and died in the storm surge!

The surge is expected to top 9 feet above ground level—6 to 9 feet in St. John’s River and other rivers—and breakers could crash down from heights of 20 to 25 feet, delivering “total devastation” to barrier islands. All in all it sounds deadly serious, and anybody who choses to ignore evacuation orderslooking at you, guy— is in for a rough ride.

Keep up to speed with Matthew by following the National Hurricane Center; NWS media accounts in Melbourne, Jacksonville, Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina; also this humongous Twitter list of media and government accounts monitoring the storm.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Traffic-free Times Square in New York City
    Maps

    Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

    To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

  2. Maps

    Readers: Share Your Hand-Made Maps of Life Under Quarantine

    As coronavirus transforms our private and public spaces, how would you map what your neighborhood and community look like now?

  3. photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.
    Coronavirus

    Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

    The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

  4. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  5. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

×