NHC/NOAA

Hurricane conditions could descend upon Florida as early as Thursday evening.

Since mowing over Hispaniola this week Hurricane Matthew’s path has become more clear, and it seems likely to graze the east coast of Florida before moving toward Georgia and South Carolina. Whether it will make landfall or not is still unknown—damages will be greater if it does—but hurricane conditions are expected to descend on Florida Thursday evening, and forecasters are absolutely not messing around stressing the danger of the storm.

Here’s last night’s bulletin on threats from strong winds from the National Weather Service office in Melbourne, which along with much of the central/north coast of Florida is facing gusts up to 125 mph and more than 5 feet of storm surge. It’s long but deserves to be quoted extensively:

- CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: EXTREME

- THE WIND THREAT HAS INCREASED FROM THE PREVIOUS ASSESSMENT.
- EMERGENCY PLANS SHOULD INCLUDE A REASONABLE THREAT FOR MAJOR HURRICANE FORCE WIND GREATER THAN 110 MPH OF EQUIVALENT CATEGORY 3 INTENSITY OR HIGHER.
- TO BE SAFE, AGGRESSIVELY PREPARE FOR THE POTENTIAL OF DEVASTATING TO LOCALLY CATASTROPHIC WIND IMPACTS. REMAINING EFFORTS TO SECURE PROPERTIES SHOULD NOW BE BROUGHT TO COMPLETION.
- EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING WIND IS POSSIBLE. FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY SHELTER MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY, LOSS OF LIFE, OR IMMENSE HUMAN SUFFERING. MOVE TO SAFE SHELTER BEFORE THE WIND BECOMES HAZARDOUS.

- POTENTIAL IMPACTS: DEVASTATING TO LOCALLY CATASTROPHIC

- STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO STURDY BUILDINGS, SOME WITH COMPLETE ROOF AND WALL FAILURES. COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF MOBILE HOMES. DAMAGE GREATLY ACCENTUATED BY LARGE AIRBORNE PROJECTILES. LOCATIONS MAY BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS.
- NUMEROUS LARGE TREES SNAPPED OR UPROOTED ALONG WITH FENCES AND ROADWAY SIGNS BLOWN OVER.
- MANY ROADS IMPASSABLE FROM LARGE DEBRIS, AND MORE WITHIN URBAN OR HEAVILY WOODED PLACES. MANY BRIDGES, CAUSEWAYS, AND ACCESS ROUTES IMPASSABLE.
- WIDESPREAD POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES.

There’s also the chance of tornadoes and “[d]estructive, even deadly, coastal storm tide inundation in concert with extremely high, destructive surf,” according to the weather service office in Jacksonville, Florida. The latter could prompt even more coastal evacuations. Stay on top of the storm at the National Hurricane Center, which is offering podcasts on the latest situation.

Hurricane Matthew heading toward the Bahamas on Wednesday. (NOAA)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
    Life

    What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

    The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

  2. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  3. A woman stands in front of a house.
    Life

    How Housing Wealth Transferred From Families to Corporations

    The Great Housing Reset has led to growing numbers of single-family homes shifting from owner-occupied housing to investment vehicles for large corporations.

  4. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  5. photo: NYC subway
    Transportation

    Behind the Gains in U.S. Public Transit Ridership

    Public transportation systems in the United States gained passengers over the second and third quarters of 2019. But the boost came from two large cities.

×