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Florida Governor: Prepare For Direct Hit From Hurricane Matthew – [Video]

Florida Governor: Prepare For Direct Hit From Hurricane Matthew

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Watch Video: Florida governor Prepare for direct hit from Hurricane Matthew

Matthew is an “extremely dangerous” storm, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, one that made landfall in western Haiti on Tuesday morning. It then headed over eastern Cuba with winds of 140 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, before losing some of its force. The Bahamas are next.

The forecast is that Matthew will ride along the US coast from Florida through the North Carolina Outer Banks from Thursday evening through Saturday. It could make landfall at any point and all areas should be on guard.

But the hurricane center said long-range forecasting can be imprecise.

“When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do … it becomes very difficult to estimate impacts this far in advance,” the center said.

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Gov. Rick Scott told reporters Tuesday that evacuation orders could come later in the day. “We have to be prepared for a major hurricane,” Scott said. “We have to prepare for a direct hit.” The governor told residents along the state’s Atlantic coast: “If you are able to leave early, leave now.”

Scott plans to activate 500 additional National Guard members by Wednesday morning. The storm has killed seven people in the Caribbean and Scott said his goal is to make sure no one dies in his state. “If Matthew directly impacts Florida, there will be massive destruction that we haven’t seen in years,” he said. CNN forecasters predict the storm could hit parts of Florida starting Thursday night.

The National Hurricane Center issued advisories for parts of the Florida coast. A hurricane warning is now in effect for Lake Okeechobee and from north of Golden Beach to the Sebastian Inlet . A hurricane watch extends from north of the Sebastian Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard county line, including Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach and Cape Canaveral.

A tropical storm watch has been issued from the central Florida Keys northward to Golden Beach, including Marathon Key, Miami and the Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area. Scott declared a state of emergency for his entire state. CNN affiliate WSVN reported long lines at gas pumps at a Costco in North Miami Beach. A reporter with the Sun Sentinel tweeted a photo of one station that had cars waiting but no gas.

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