Gov. Rick Scott is urging residents up and down Florida's Interstate 95 corridor to start preparing for "direct impacts" of Hurricane Matthew.
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Scott was in the Florida Keys Tuesday morning for a briefing on the Category 4 storm that is currently moving over the southwestern coast of Haiti. The storm is heading toward Cuba and the southeastern coast of Florida.
The governor warned residents to take the storm seriously, adding "we cannot rule out a direct hit." He says heavy rain, spin off tornadoes, high winds and beach erosion are among the concerns in Florida.
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He asked residents to listen for directions from local officials and to "prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
Scott and other officials are urging people to have at least a three-day supply of food, water and medicine on hand. Also, Scott urged people to get gas in their vehicles and to keep cellphones charged in case of electrical power loss.
National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb says Hurricane Matthew will continue to have a devastating impact on Haiti, even after landfall.
Knabb says the storm is about to emerge back over water but there'll still be heavy rainfall that's likely to cause flash floods and mudslides, along with strong winds and storm surges.
The hurricane is heading to eastern Cuba, but Knabb says the island's mountains aren't expected to have much effect on the storm.
Knabb says tropical storm or hurricane watches may be issued for parts of southeastern Florida later Tuesday. A high pressure ridge is nudging Matthew toward Florida and blocking its path due north from the Bahamas.
Hurricane Matthew has made landfall in western Haiti.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 4 storm made landfall around 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday near Les Anglais, Haiti. Matthew's maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph (230 kph).
The hurricane has pounded the southwestern coast of Haiti, threatening a largely rural corner of the impoverished country with devastating storm conditions as it heads north toward Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott will make several stops at emergency management offices in the Florida Keys, Daytona Beach and north Florida to give updates on Hurricane Matthew and the storm's potential impact on the state.
Scott will be in Marathon at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, before moving upstate in the afternoon.
The Category 4 storm's maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph (230 kph) as it crosses the southwest peninsula of Haiti, where it's bringing life-threatening rain, wind and storm surge.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says another landfall is expected in eastern Cuba. Forecasters say a tropical storm watch or hurricane watch is likely for parts of Florida later Tuesday.
Senior Hurricane Specialist Richard Pasch says Florida residents should remain vigilant because they can't "rule out the possibility of impacts."
A hurricane warning has been issued Tuesday morning for the northwest Bahamas as Hurricane Matthew continues its march up the Caribbean.
The hurricane warning in the Bahamas includes the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence.
In the meantime, Matthew's eye is nearing the southwest peninsula of Haiti, where it's bringing life-threatening rain, wind and storm surge.
The Category 4 storm's maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph (230 kph).
Heavy rain has also fallen on Jamaica and dangerous rainfall is a threat for the Dominican Republic, which adjoins Haiti.
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