Hurricane Matthew Hits Florida, Causing an Estimated 400000 Power Outages

More are expected as the threat from Hurricane Matthew increases. "Unfortunately, this is going to continue through the night", Gov. Rick Scott said.

Matthew was blamed for the deaths of four people in Florida.

Matthew has moved northward near Florida's coast all night, with its eye never making landfall, according to the hurricane center.

Hurricane Matthew was leaving behind record-breaking flooding Saturday as the center of the storm moved out into the Atlantic Ocean, dragging bands of heavy rain with it across eastern North Carolina. South and North Carolina are projected to accumulate between 8 to 12 inches of rain, with the possibility of some areas getting 15 inches.

"It could be the worst part of this is still to come", Scott said after a morning briefing at the state Emergency Operations Center. "Do not plan to go home", Haley said, asserting that driving conditions still weren't safe.

Matthew the most powerful hurricane to threaten the Atlantic Seaboard in more than a decade _ set off alarms as it closed in on the U.S. Wind speeds had dropped by almost half from their peak about a week ago to 75 miles per hour, reducing it to a Category 1 hurricane, the weakest on the Saffir-Simpson scale of 1 to 5.

Storm surge in the low-lying coastal regions of Georgia and SC is expected to be life-threatening.

ABC News reported that 3.1 million people were urged to evacuate in Florida, Georgia and SC.

At least one wind gust of 87 miles per hour was recorded at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

"The real danger still is storm surge, particularly in northern Florida and southern Georgia".

"There is nothing safe about what is getting ready to happen", SC governor Nikki Haley said Friday, according to USA Today. Millions of people have already evacuated coastal areas of the three states in the south-eastern United States ahead of the arrival of the storm. "So they have to get in clean water, they have to get in food and shelter", Darlington said.

"The combination of a risky storm surge, the tide and large and destructive waves will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", the National Hurricane Center said. It is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm later tonight.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said Friday, "Many of these areas have not had this level of flooding since, like, the late 1800s".

Hurricane force winds left hundreds of thousands without power across the state.

Hurricane Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight with the strongest winds of 120 mph just offshore as the storm pushed north, threatening hundreds of miles of coastline in Florida, Georgia and SC. "Storm surges, downed trees, crop damage, farm damage", said Margaret Traub, head of global initiatives for International Medical Corps, who landed in Les Cayes with two colleagues and a journalist Thursday afternoon.

Roads in Jackson Beach, Florida, were littered with debris, including chunks from an historic pier dislodged by the storm, with some intersections clogged by up to a foot of standing water. It was moving north at 12 miles per hour. No significant damage or injuries were reported in cities and towns in south Florida where the storm brought down trees and power lines, CNN and local media reported.

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