Florida residents have been warned to prepare for a “direct hit”, as Hurricane Matthew pounded the Bahamas after devastating parts of Haiti.
Some 1.5 million people are under evacuation orders in Florida in preparation for mighty Hurricane Matthew to make a direct hit on the state, the governor said on Thursday.
Governor Rick Scott described a possibly catastrophic and deadly scenario of huge storm surges, fierce winds, the ocean eating up beaches and other havoc from the storm.
“Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate,” Scott told a news conference. “Time is running out.”
Matthew has already killed 27 people as it barreled its way through the Caribbean, with the Bahamas the last to be hit.
Scott said the forecast is for storm surges of five to nine feet (1.5 to 2.7 meters), not counting the waves on top of that.
“Stop and think about that,” he said. “Waves will be crashing on your roof if you’re right close to where the storm surge is happening and you’re close to where the waves are.”