Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for Hurricane Matthew, which is churning up the Caribbean.
Scott declared the state of emergency on Monday afternoon.
“Hurricane Matthew is a life-threatening category 4 hurricane and we must all take it seriously. If Hurricane Matthew directly impacts Florida, there could be massive destruction which we haven’t seen since Hurricane Andrew,” the governor said in a statement.
Scott added that the state cannot make delays and “must prepare for direct impact now.”
“Today, I signed an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in every Florida county to ensure we have resources for evacuations, sheltering and other logistical needs across our state. We are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best and we will not take any chances to ensure our state is prepared,” his statement read.
Hurricane Matthew has already killed four people in the Caribbean.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Matthew is about 195 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. It’s expected to approach the southern portion of Haiti on Monday evening before going to Cuba late on Tuesday. It will move to parts of the Bahamas on Friday.
North Carolina also declared a state of emergency in 66 counties. On Sunday, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said the state’s emergency response team will review disaster preparation plans, Weather.com reported. Horry, Beaufort, and Charleston counties were placed on alert.
It’s too early to tell if the storm will make landfall on U.S. soil.
“Matthew could pass near or just off the Southeast coast late this week into the weekend. Even if the center of the hurricane does stay offshore, we would still have the potential for coastal flooding, beach erosion, battering surf, rain and gusty winds,” said Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. “The magnitude of any of those impacts will depend on Matthew’s track and intensity at that time.”