Hurricane Matthew was deadly in Haiti, with an official there saying 283 people have died, and that number is, unfortunately, expected to rise. Now, the storm approaches the United States:
Hurricane Matthew is blasting eastern Florida's Space Coast, and is poised to deliver a punishing combination of storm surge flooding, rainfall flooding, and destructive winds in northeast Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and southern North Carolina into the weekend. Some areas near the coast in Georgia and South Carolina may see flooding comparable to last October's event.President Obama has declared a state of emergency in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Wind gusts as high as 107 mph have been clocked at Cape Canaveral, Florida, prompting a rare NWS "extreme wind warning", as the hurricane's western outer eyewall scrapes the Space Coast.
Matthew's precarious track in which the eyewall may scrape the coast with destructive hurricane-force winds will spread north through Saturday along the northeast Florida coast, Georgia coast, and parts of the South Carolina coast.
Of more concern is the storm surge. According to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Florida, Friday morning, "Barrier islands are likely to be breached and it is extremely possible that new inlets will be cut off in the worst affected areas." The NWS office in Charleston, South Carolina, said Friday tide levels at both Charleston, South Carolina, and Ft. Pulaski, Georgia, could approach or even surpass those seen during the October 2015 epic flood event.
Hurricane warnings extend from Sebastian Inlet, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina. This includes locations such as Orlando, Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. Jacksonville had not been under a hurricane warning in 17 years, until now.
If you are in the affected areas, and you need shelter, Airbnb is offering free shelter for evacuees.
In related political news, Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott has refused to extend voter registration due to the storm, saying at a press confernece: "Everybody has had plenty of time to register."
Except: "86,000 Floridians registered in the final 5 days of the voter registration window in 2012."
And Democrats' field operations meant that they were quickly out-registering the GOP in new voters, especially Latinx voters. So Scott is essentially using the storm for political gain. Which is pretty gross. And, frankly, pretty typical.
People are going to be hurt and displaced and harmed by this storm; they really don't need to have their rights taken away, too.