As Hurricane Matthew continues to tear through the Atlantic, South Carolina’s governor announced evacuation protocols for more than one million citizens, Tuesday afternoon.
Gov. Nikki Haley announced plans to evacuate 1.1 million residents of the state’s coastal areas, beginning immediately, given the possibility of a direct hit.
Haley said residents are urged to get at least 100 miles inland, while Florida’s governor said earlier in the day that it was too early to order a mass evacuation, but cautioned those living near the water to start making plans.
Hurricane Matthew, whose winds have reached 145 miles per hour, has been classed as the fiercest storm to impact the Caribbean in a decade, resulting in fatalities and mass property damage in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The exact path of the storm is unknown, with the possibility of the hurricane tacking east–away from the mainland–still a possibility.
Matthew formed as a tropical storm on Sept. 28 and quickly developed into a hurricane by the following day.
The National Hurricane Center out of Miami, Fla., is closely monitoring the powerful storm. As of Tuesday, the weather agency had forecast the storm to hit parts of Florida as a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) by Friday. The hurricane is expected to then weaken before heading into the Carolinas and continuing to move northeast.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Matthew to remain a hurricane into Sunday as it heads up the northeast coast, off the coast of New York. The storm is likely to have an impact on Canada early next week with high winds and heavy rain affecting the Maritimes.
As the storm continues its northeasterly trek, the Canadian Hurricane Centre is also keeping a close eye on Matthew.
“Matthew is expected to move northward along the eastern seaboard approaching the Maritimes this Thanksgiving weekend. At this time, it is too early to be specific regarding the precise track of the storm,” the centre said in a statement on its website.
Speaking with Global News today, Dennis Feltgen from the Canadian Hurricane Centre said that it’s too early to forecast any impact on Canada at the moment, due to the “tremendous margin of error” this far out.
“But yes, we’re watching it. Definitely.”
Meanwhile Tropical Storm Nicole has developed east of Matthew in the Atlantic Ocean. It is not forecast to impact any land within the next few days.