Hurricane Matthew May Be Rare Major Hurricane Strike to Florida East Coast

Virginia

Updated 12/19/16:
FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Virginia affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 7-15, 2016.

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Updated 11/17/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Virginia affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 7-15, 2016.

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Updated 11/15/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Virginia affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 7-15, 2016.

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Updated 11/2/16: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Virginia affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 7, 2016 and continuing.

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Florida

Updated 11/4/16:
FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-19, 2016.

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Updated 10/27/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-19, 2016.

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Updated 10/25/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-19, 2016.

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Updated 10/24/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-19, 2016.

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Updated 10/19/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/17/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/8/16: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing. 

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Updated 10/6/16: FEMA issued an Emergency Management Declaration for areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 3, 2016 and continuing. To view the declaration, please click here. To view a ZIP Code list of counties included under the President's Emergency Declaration, please click here. Note: This area (or any other area related to Hurricane Matthew) has NOT yet been declared a Presidential Disaster Area.

Updated 10/6/16: Governor Rick Scott issued evacuation orders across the state. Please click here to view the Governor's announcement for evacuation order specifics (mandatory/voluntary, full/partial county). To view a ZIP Code list of included counties, please click here.

Georgia

Updated 10/27/16:
FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Georgia affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-15, 2016.

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Updated 10/24/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Georgia affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-15, 2016.

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Updated 10/20/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Georgia affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-15, 2016. 

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Updated 10/17/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Georgia affected by Hurricane Matthew between October 4-15, 2016. 

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Updated 10/8/16: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in Georgia affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing. 

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Updated 10/6/16: FEMA issued an Emergency Management Declaration for areas in Georgia affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 3, 2016 and continuing. To view the declaration, please click here. To view a ZIP Code list of counties included under the President's Emergency Declaration, please click here. Note: This area (or any other area related to Hurricane Matthew) has NOT yet been declared a Presidential Disaster Area.

Updated 10/6/16:  Governor Nathan Deal issued mandatory evacuation orders for six coastal counties located east of I-95. Please click here to view the Governor's announcement. To view a ZIP Code list of included counties, please click here.

Updated 10/5/16: Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for several counties. Please click here to view the Governor's announcement. To view a ZIP Code list of included counties, please click here.

South Carolina

Updated 10/25/16: FEMA issued updates to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in South Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/19/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in South Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/17/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in South Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/14/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in South Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing. Please click here to view the

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Updated 10/11/16: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in South Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/10/16: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley requested an expedited Major Disaster Declaration for 13 counties within the state. The request was for both Individual and Public Assistance. Please click here for an approximate ZIP Code listing for these counties. Please note that this area has NOT yet been declared a Presidential Disaster Area.

Updated 10/6/16: FEMA issued an Emergency Management Declaration for areas in South Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning on October 3, 2016 and continuing. To view the declaration, please click here. To view a ZIP Code list of counties included under the President's Emergency Declaration, please click here. Note: This area (or any other area related to Hurricane Matthew) has NOT yet been declared a Presidential Disaster Area.

Updated 10/5/16: Governor Nikki Haley issued evacuation orders for multiple coastal areas. Please click here (Announcement 3 and Announcement 7) to view the Governor's announcements for evacuation order specifics (mandatory/voluntary, full/partial county). To view a ZIP Code list of included counties, please click here.

North Carolina

Updated 11/21/16:
FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 11/10/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 11/3/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 11/1/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/31/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/25/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/24/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/19/16:  FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/17/16:  FEMA issued updates to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/13/16: FEMA issued updates to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/12/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/11/16: FEMA issued an update to a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/10/16: FEMA issued a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for areas in North Carolina affected by Hurricane Matthew beginning October 4, 2016 and continuing.

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Updated 10/10/16: FEMA has approved North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's request for expedited Federal Disaster Assistance. A total of 10 counties have been approved for Individual Assistance and 31 counties have been approved for Public Assistance. Please note that an Official Declaration notice has not yet been posted on the FEMA website. Click here for the Press Release from the Governor’s office.

ZIP Code List for FEMA Declared Disaster for North Carolina Hurricane Matthew - Individual Assistance

ZIP Code List for FEMA Declared Disaster for North Carolina Hurricane Matthew - Public Assistance

Updated 10/9/16: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory requested an expedited Major Disaster Declaration for 66 counties within the state. The request was for both Individual and Public Assistance. Please click here for a ZIP Code listing for these counties. Please note that this area has NOT yet been declared a Presidential Disaster Area.

Updated 10/6/16:  Hyde County officials suspended a mandatory evacuation order issued for resident and non-resident property owners. 

Link to press release


Areas of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have been placed under a state of emergency by their respective governors, with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley ordering evacuations for the following counties:

  • Horry
  • Georgetown
  • Charleston
  • Beaufort


Updated 11/3/16:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a VALERI Servicer Newsflash.

Link to update

Updated 11/3/16: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release titled HUD Announces Disaster Assistance for Virginia Hurricane Matthew Victims.

Link to press release

Updated 11/1/16: Freddie Mac issued a press release titled Freddie Mac Confirms Disaster Relief Available to Eligible Borrowers Impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

Link to press release

Updated 10/11/16: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released Circular 26-16-31, subtitled Special Relief Following Hurricane Matthew.

Link to circular

Updated 10/11/16: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a press release titled HUD Secretary Announces Help for Victims of Hurricane Matthew.

Link to press release

Updated 10/10/16: DS News released an article titled The Housing Industry's Response When Disaster Strikes.

Link to article

Updated 10/8/16: Freddie Mac issued a news release titled Freddie Mac to Extend Disaster Relief to Eligible Borrowers Impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

Link to news release

Updated 10/7/16: Fannie Mae issued a press release titled Fannie Mae Reminds Homeowners and Servicers of Mortgage Assistance Options for Atlantic Coastal Areas Impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

Link to press release

Updated 10/7/16: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued FHA INFO #16-65, subtitled Reminder: Guidance for FHA-Approved Mortgagees When Assisting Borrowers in Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas.

Link to FHA INFO #16-65

Updated 10/10/16: The Cumulative Wind History information received from the National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center (NHC) is available on MapAlert®.

Please Note: We only review properties Safeguard services on behalf of our clients. For more information on a subscription to our advanced MapAlert analysis service which can map, track and monitor properties or portfolios (delinquent or current) which Safeguard does not manage, please contact our MapAlert team at 800-852-8306 x1675, or visit http://www.safeguardproperties.com/Resources/MapAlert.aspx.

Updated 10/7/16: The Weather Channel published an article titled Hurricane Matthew Drives Storm Surge Into Northeast Florida; Coastal Damage Already in South Carolina; Dangerous Flood Threat in Carolinas, Georgia.

Link to article

According to media outlets, Hurricane Matthew is on an expected trajectory to make landfall in Florida on Thursday, October 6, 2016. As the storm makes its way up the Atlantic Ocean towards the continental southeast United States, it is expected to strengthen into a Category 3-4 hurricane, which could produce wind gusts exceeding 175 mph and heavy rainfall. The current approximate trajectory suggests the storm will also make its way into Georgia and the Carolinas.

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October 5, 2016

Please see below for approximate ZIP Code lists of coastal counties for the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Coastal counties that are included in each state's evacuation order or state of emergency have been marked as well.

NOTE: This is not currently a FEMA declared disaster.

Florida
Nassau (state of emergency)
Duval (state of emergency)
St. Johns (state of emergency)
Flagler (state of emergency)
Volusia (state of emergency)
Brevard (state of emergency)
Indian River (state of emergency)
St. Lucie (state of emergency)
Martin (state of emergency)
Palm Beach (state of emergency)
Broward (state of emergency)
Miami Dade (state of emergency)

Georgia
Effingham (state of emergency)
Chatham (state of emergency)
Bryan (state of emergency)
Liberty (state of emergency)
McIntosh (state of emergency)
Glynn (state of emergency)

South Carolina
Horry (evacuation)
Georgetown (evacuation)
Charleston (evacuation)
Beaufort (evacuation)
Colleton
Jasper

North Carolina
Brunswick (state of emergency)
New Hanover (state of emergency)
Pender (state of emergency)
Onslow (state of emergency)
Carteret (state of emergency)
Craven (state of emergency)
Pamlico (state of emergency)
Beaufort (state of emergency)
Hyde (state of emergency)
Dare (state of emergency)
Tyrrell (state of emergency)
Washington (state of emergency)
Bertie (state of emergency)
Hertford (state of emergency)
Gates (state of emergency)
Chowan (state of emergency)
Perquimans (state of emergency)
Pasquotank (state of emergency)
Camden (state of emergency)
Currituck (state of emergency)

Hurricane Matthew is now forecast to strengthen again over warm water north of Cuba, with the Bahamas and parts of Florida's Atlantic coast, the Georgia coast, and coastal Carolinas potentially in line for a strong hurricane strike.

A hurricane warning has been expanded north along the east coast of Florida from Golden Beach, Florida, to the Flagler/Volusia County line. Lake Okeechobee has also been placed into a hurricane warning.

A hurricane watch remains in effect north the warning to Fernandina Beach, Florida. This includes Orlando, Florida.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect from Chokoloskee to Golden Beach in Florida, for the Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward, and for Florida Bay.

All interests near Florida's East Coast should rush necessary preparations to completion today.

Hurricane warnings continue for the entire Bahamas chain as well as eastern Cuba.

Latest Status

Hurricane Matthew is now north of eastern Cuba, as a reintensifying Category 3 hurricane. Satellite imagery shows convection re-wrapping around the center, and there have been lightning strikes near the eyewall, indicating an intensification is taking place.

Matthew's tropical storm-force wind field (at least 39 mph sustained winds) extends up to 175 miles from the center, and hurricane-force winds extend up to 45 miles from the center.

Caribbean, Bahamas Impacts

Impacts are beginning to wane in Hispañola (including Haiti), but mudslides may continue for days thanks to rain-soaked ground.

Eastern Cuba conditions will slowly improve Wednesday, though some rainbands may trigger additional flash flooding.

Meanwhile, conditions will steadily worsen in the Bahamas.

Here is the approximate timing of the worst wind and surge impacts, coinciding with the nearest passage of the eyewall of Matthew in the Bahamas:

  • Southeast & central Bahamas: Through Thursday morning
  • Northwest Bahamas (including Nassau & Freeport): Late Wednesday night through Friday morning

Over a foot of rainfall from Matthew will trigger life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Here are the latest storm-total rainfall amounts from the National Hurricane Center:

  • Southern Haiti, southwest Dominican Republic: 15 to 25 inches, locally up to 40 inches
  • Northwestern Haiti, eastern Cuba: 8 to 12 inches, locally up to 20 inches
  • The Bahamas: 8 to 12 inches, locally up to 15 inches
  • Turks and Caicos: 2 to 5 inches, locally up to 8 inches
  • Northeast Haiti, northern Dominican Republic: 1 to 3 inches, locally up to 5 inches

On the current forecast track, here are the latest storm surge forecasts from the NHC, above normal tide levels at high tide:

  • The Bahamas: 10 to 15 feet
  • North coast of Cuba east of Camaguey: 4 to 6 feet

It's worth noting this forecast for the Bahamas is on the order of storm surge witnessed during Hurricane Joaquin almost exactly one year ago, only for, potentially, the entire chain, rather than just the central and southeast Bahamas.

Battering waves will ride atop the storm surge, and coastal flooding from large waves may begin well in advance and ahead of Matthew's center.

This storm surge will also limit rainfall runoff in some places, aggravating flooding, especially in coastal locations where swollen rivers cannot drain.

Hurricane-force winds, with peak timing as outlined above, will lead to widespread structural damage, particularly to poorly-built structures, numerous downed trees and widespread power outages. Due to wet ground, trees will be even more susceptible to being toppled.

U.S. Threat

Matthew's center will make a close-enough pass to a large swath of eastern Florida to bring hurricane-force conditions at least to the Atlantic coast. If the center moves close enough, at least the western eyewall could bring destructive winds to at least Category 3 intensity.

The reason for this is stronger high pressure aloft persisting over the western Atlantic and East Coast of the U.S., helping to trap Matthew close to the coast.

Here is the approximate timing of the worst wind and surge impacts, coinciding with the nearest passage of the eyewall of Matthew. (Note that Matthew's eye may never make landfall, but its eyewall, containing the hurricane's strongest winds, may do so.)

  • Southeast Florida: Thursday through early Friday
  • Northeastern Florida/Georgia coast: Friday through early Saturday
  • South Carolina: Saturday and Saturday night

Small, subtle changes in the path of the eyewall, sometimes not resolvable until hours before the passage, will make a large difference on wind impact.

This uncertainty was best summarized by the 11 a.m. Wednesday forecast from the National Hurricane Center:

When a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through South Carolina, it becomes very difficult to specify impacts at any one location.  For example, only a small deviation of the track to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of a major hurricane onshore within the hurricane warning area in Florida. However, a small deviation to the right could keep the hurricane-force winds offshore.

In addition to the wind damage potential, significant storm surge flooding is possible along the Florida East coast north of West Palm Beach building Thursday, continuing into Friday. The storm surge flood potential will spread up the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and southern North Carolina through Saturday. Battering waves riding atop the surge will lead to beach erosion.

Again, depending on the exact path of Matthew, rainfall flooding may be a threat, as well, along parts of the Southeast coast into the weekend.

You may have noticed the forecast track has changed for areas from North Carolina northward, as it now appears increasingly likely Matthew will not get "picked up" by a southward dip in the jet stream forecast to push into the Northeast U.S. this weekend.

Instead, Matthew may drop southeast away from the coastal Carolinas later Sunday. It's possible Matthew could then meander off the Southeast coast or northeast of the northwest Bahamas into early next week, but details on where it may eventually go from there are uncertain at this time.

So, for now, the threat to the Northeast U.S. from Matthew appears to have diminished substantially, but we can't rule out a Matthew track later next week near the Northeast U.S.

All interests along the Southeast U.S. East Coast should be rushing preparations to completion.

Check back with us frequently at weather.com for any important forecast updates.

Storm Reports, Recap

George F.L. Charles Airport on St. Lucia picked up 9.21 inches of rain Wednesday. On the south side of the island, Hewanorra Int'l Airport picked up 13.19 inches of rain in just 12 hours from 8 p.m. Wednesday through 8 a.m. Thursday, according to the Antigua Met Service.

A wind gust to 89 mph was reported in St. Pierre, Martinique, Wednesday evening. Some stations are elevated at 50 to 100 feet. Sustained winds of 39 mph were reported on the island of Barbados.

Matthew strengthened to a rare Category 5 late Friday evening, becoming the first Category 5 Atlantic basin hurricane since Hurricane Felix in early September 2007.

Hurricane Matthew became the fifth hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season early Thursday afternoon.

According to Colorado State University tropical scientist Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Matthew became the lowest latitude Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic on record (beating the old record set by Ivan in 2004).

Some outer rainbands triggered flash flooding in Jamaica Sunday, hundreds of miles away from the center of Matthew.

Interestingly Sunday night, a fortunately-placed NOAA buoy sampled Matthew's eye, providing valuable information for meteorologists.

Hurricane Matthew's eye first came ashore in the Greater Antilles in the western Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti near the town of Les Anglais around 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Matthew was the first Category 4 Haiti landfall since Hurricane Cleo in 1964, and only the fourth such intensity or stronger hurricane to track within 65 nautical miles of southern Haiti's Tiburon Peninsula since the 1960s, according to NOAA's Best Tracks Database.

Hurricane Matthew made a second landfall near Juaco, Cuba, around 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday evening. October 4. An unconfirmed wind gusts to 155 mph was reported in the town of Baracoa, Cuba, in Matthew's eyewall.

Radar from Guantanamo Bay Wednesday morning indicated Matthew's eyewall had a sizable hole in its western side after passing over Cuba Tuesday night.

Source: The Weather Channel

Additional Resources:
MapAlert Disaster Viewer

FloridaDisaster.org (Florida Division of Emergency Management (Gov. Scott: Directing Suspension of Tolls; National Guard Deployments)

NBC 11 Atlanta (State of Emergency issued for 13 Georgia counties)

South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) (Matthew News Release #3)

Office of North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (State of Emergency Declared for Central and Eastern North Carolina)

FOX 31 Denver (Evacuations begin as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina prep for Hurricane Matthew)

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