Less than a day after Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for 66 counties, including Guilford County, forecasts show Hurricane Matthew has shifted to the west, increasing the potential for a landfall or some impacts in the U.S.
The 11 a.m. update from the National Weather Service shows Hurricane Matthew's track continues its shift to the west, putting North and South Carolina in the middle of the cone projection. The storm's path could be reminiscent of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 — which required the evacuation of 2.6 million people across five states.
“I’m hoping this is a false alarm, but we can’t gamble," Gov. McCrory said.
As of Tuesday morning, Matthew, a Category 4 storm, had made landfall in Haiti just after 7 a.m. As we head into the evening and Wednesday morning, winds are expected to sustain around 145 mph. Forecasters say parts of Haiti could see up to 40 inches of rain by the time Matthew leaves the area. The storm will continue to make its way past Haiti and Eastern Cuba, eventually moving to the Bahamas early Thursday morning, nearing Florida late Thursday and reaching North Carolina Saturday morning. A hurricane warning was issued for parts of the Bahamas early Tuesday. A storm surge of 10 to 15 feet was predicted there.
Although Hurricane Matthew's exact impact on the U.S. is currently unclear, FOX8 Meteorologist Emily Byrd's models show the storm could be Category 2 or 3 when it reaches North Carolina.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency warning residents there could be "massive destruction" if Matthew directly impacts Florida. He urged everyone to start preparing by stocking up on water and food, and by charging cell phones.
The emergency area is Alamance, Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Sampson, Scotland, Stokes, Surry, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wilson and Yadkin counties.