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Hurricane Matthew Strengthens On Its Way To The U.S.

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Photo: NOAA/AP Images.
Update: Hurricane Matthew strengthened again, and is expected to impact the U.S. starting on Thursday night, The Weather Channel reported.

The Category 4 phenomenon will likely hit Florida, Georgia, and the coast of the Carolinas over the weekend. Its landfall or near-landfall is expected to happen between West Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral, FL, NBC News reported. Evacuations are ongoing in the Sunshine State, where Gov. Rick Scott warned that the impact of the storm could be "catastrophic."

"Do not surf. Do not go on the beach. This will kill you," he said at a press conference on Thursday. "There is no reason not to leave."

The storm hit the Bahamas on Thursday, and forecasters had warned of "life-threatening" conditions, according to NBC News. At least 25 people have died due to Matthew, most of them in Haiti.

Update: October 4, 2016: Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to cross the Caribbean in almost a decade, hit Haiti's southwestern coast a little after 7 a.m. today, The Weather Channel reported. It's expected to impact Cuba this afternoon, according to CNN.
Matthew landed in Haiti as a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds — the strongest phenomenon to hit the island in 52 years, according to The Washington Post.

Authorities said that at least three people have been killed, and that the death toll could increase, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, Cuba's most isolated parts could see up to 20 inches of rain after Matthew lands there.

Forecasters have also predicted that the hurricane could impact the U.S. East Coast starting Thursday, ABC News reported.

A hurricane watch and a tropical storm watch are in effect for different parts of Florida. A state of emergency has been declared in the Sunshine State and also in North Carolina, The Weather Channel reported.
This article was originally published on October 2, 2016.

As it makes its way through the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew is being called the strongest storm in the Atlantic since Felix in 2007. The Category 4 storm is expected to make landfall on Jamaica and Haiti on Monday. Residents of the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Bahamas are also bracing themselves for its effect, according to CBS News.

As of Sunday morning at 11 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for Jamaica, Haiti, and parts of Cuba. The storm had reached Category 5 strength briefly before being downgraded to 4. Current sustained wind speeds are at 140 mph. Haiti, in particular, looks most at risk for damage, as forecasters predict it will receive 40 inches of rain and areas in the country stripped of trees are susceptible to flooding and landslides. Non-essential personnel and about 700 family members of Americans serving in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were evacuated. A hurricane watch is in effect for Camaguey, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas.
“It’s too early to rule out what impacts, if any, would occur in the United States and Florida," Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen told CBS. However, NBC reports that Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already warned residents to be prepared.
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