(CNN) Hurricane Matthew likely won’t strike the US for another day — but after seeing its deadly, devastating impact on Haiti, authorities are urging residents to get ready.
“I cannot emphasize enough that everyone in our state must prepare now for a direct hit,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday.
“That means people have less than 24 hours to prepare, evacuate and shelter. Having a plan in place could mean the difference between life and death.”
Matthew hurled winds of 125 mph as it churned toward the Bahamas on Wednesday. Forecasters predict it will strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane by the time it pummels Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina sometime between Thursday evening and Saturday.
Texroy Spence, of Deerfield Beach, Florida, loads plywood onto his car at the Home Depot in Deerfield Beach, Florida on Tuesday, October 4, 2016
The National Hurricane Center said the storm could make landfall in any of those states. It’s not just Florida’s governor giving dire warnings. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has given evacuation orders for the coastal counties of Charleston and Beaufort starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for the entire state and warned that a direct hit by Matthew could lead to “massive destruction” on a level unseen since Hurricane Andrew devastated the Miami area in 1992.