'This Storm Will Kill You': Florida Governor Warns Residents to Evacuate as Hurricane Matthew Strengthens
Hurricane Matthew has decimated parts of Haiti and went on to slam the Bahamas on Thursday as it makes its way toward what appears to be an inevitable landfall on Florida's east coast.
As Matthew strengthened into a Category 4 storm Thursday morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott did not mince words with his state's vulnerable citizens.
"This is a dangerous storm," Scott said Thursday morning at a press conference. "The storm has already killed people... This storm will kill you. Time is running out."
Scott warned residents that, after Thursday morning, it would be all but too late to take heed of the mandatory evacuation.
"If you're in an evacuation zone, you need to leave now," he said. "If you wait, that's when lines happen. That's when we have problems with fuel."
The governor warned of a possible storm surge between 5 to 9 feet above the ground, a possibility that would inundate low lying areas stretching hundreds of miles.
The West Palm Beach area can expect wind speeds in excess of 100 to 150mph, Scott said.
Matthew's projected path puts millions of people in line for what will be an indirect hit, at best.
States of emergency have been declared in Florida, parts of Georgia and North Carolina and in all of South Carolina, where Gov. Nikki Haley ordered more than a million people to move inland.
In Haiti, 65 people were killed after Matthew bashed the nation. U.S. experts are currently assessing the damage and the government is providing $1.5 million in food and other disaster assistance.