There has been a reported death toll of at least seven people: one person in Columbia, four in the Dominican Republic, one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and one in Haiti. And Haitian Senator Nenel Cassy described to the Miami Herald “catastrophic” flooding in the Nippes region of the country.
Meteorologists are warning residents along the SC coast to prepare for major impacts from Hurricane Matthew as the huge storm makes its way up the East Coast later this week.
Hurricane Matthew made landfall early Tuesday on the southwestern coast of Haiti. Matthew is the strongest storm of its kind seen in the region since Hurricane Felix nearly a decade ago.
The path now shows the storm arriving off the coast of New Jersey around 8 a.m. Sunday.
“It looks like in North Carolina, it could still be a Category 2 hurricane”, said Corfont. Right now, it appears the SC coastline will get the brunt of the effects, with tropical storm to hurricane force winds possible, and rainfall that could produce flash flooding. Matthew is expected to move north to eastern Cuba where it could linger for 10 hours.
The storm is expected to push through the Caribbean before gliding up the coast later this week, possibly making landfall in the Carolinas.
“If Matthew directly impacts Florida, there will be massive destruction that we haven’t seen in years”, Gov. Rick Scott said at a press conference on Monday.
Mr Heming said that weather forecasters need to be cautious about predicting whether the hurricane will reach that far north.
A hurricane watch is in effect from southeast Florida up to Volusia/Brevard County line, according to the National Hurricane Center.
He said the closest point the storm will come, based on Monday morning’s predictions, will be about 345 miles from the Sister Islands sometime Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nicole formed in the Atlantic Ocean about 525 miles northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
It’s now looking more certain that Hurricane Matthew will bring wind and rain to the Maritimes, says CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell.
Still, the weather service said, even if Matthew stays to the south and east of Long Island, there’s potential for heavy rain, as an approaching frontal system could interact with tropical moisture that would be preceding the storm.