|Nassau, Bahamas Photo by: AP Photo/Tim Aylen/Via Newscred|
Several media outlets are reporting that Hurricane Matthew is currently battering The Bahamas with heavy winds and rain and could hit the Florida East Coast as a Category 4 hurricane by tonight.
According to Weather.com, Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on the northwest Bahamas, is expected to be a rare Category 4 hurricane strike on the Florida East Coast tonight into Friday, and will bring destructive hurricane conditions to Georgia and much of the coastal Carolinas into the weekend.
According to NBC News, 25 deaths have been attributed to Matthew so far in the Caribbean, most in Haiti, and forecasters warned of "life-threatening" devastation as it crossed the Bahamas early Thursday.
According to ABC News, officials in three southeast U.S. states have urged about two million people to head to safer ground as the most powerful storm to threaten the Atlantic Coast in more than a decade continued on its path northwest toward the United States at about 12 mph, packing 125 mph winds with higher gusts.
About 8 million Florida residents scrambled to make last-minute preparations as the storm was expected to strengthen from a Category 3 to a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds before approaching the state tonight, according to the ABC News report. The track showed Hurricane Matthew possibly making landfall just north of West Palm Beach, FL, sometime early Thursday around 2 a.m. ET, according to that report.
According to the Weather.com report, hurricane warnings have been extended northward to St. Simons Island and Brunswick, GA. This includes Orlando and Jacksonville, FL. Hurricane watches have been extended to just north of Charleston, SC. This includes Savannah, GA and Hilton Head Island, SC, according to Weather.com.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates on this story.