President Obama addressed the nation Friday morning regarding Hurricane Matthew, urging Georgians to especially heed warnings about the storm as it is expected to travel in that direction.
In his statement, Obama said the government is still tracking what happened in Haiti. The country's central government's official death toll stood at nearly 300 Friday morning, and that number is expected to rise.
Hurricane Matthew churned through the southern coast of Florida Friday, leaving more than 180,000 FPL customers without power, including more than 52,000 in Palm Beach County, around 50,000 in Indian River County, 44,000 in Marti, 41,000 in St. Lucie and 1,600 in Okeechobee.
Reports of damage are largely confined to downed trees and damaged boats.
Click the image below for photos of the damage.
Where is Hurricane Matthew, and where is it headed?
8 a.m. Friday
The storm is currently about 45 miles east of Daytona Beach and moving northwest at 13 miles per hour with maximum wind speeds of 120 miles per hour.
The center will pass near or over the east coast of Florida Friday night, and it is expected to pass over the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday.
Matthew is expected to weaken over the next 48 hours, but it is still expected to be a Category 3 storm as it moves up Florida’s coast Friday.
Tropical storm conditions will continue north along Florida’s west coast Friday, and hurricane conditions are expected to spread northward in the warning areas of Georgia and South Carolina Friday night and Saturday.
Residents in high-rise buildings should be aware that winds are stronger than those at ground-level.
Large waves generated by the storm combined with accumulations of 8 to 12 inches of rain over the Atlantic coast may cause flash flooding in some areas from central Florida to eastern North Carolina.
Watches and Warnings
The Hurricane Warning from north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet has been changed to a Tropical Storm Warning.
- Sebastian Inlet to South Santee River
Tropical Storm Warnings:
- Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet
- Anclote River to Suwannee River
- North of South Santee River to Surf City
Tropical Storm Watches:
- Anna Maria Island to Anclote River
The American Red Cross has 84 emergency evacuations shelters in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit the Red Cross website, check the Red Cross Emergency App, or call 1-800-768-8048.
Those who plan to stay in a shelter should bring any prescription medication, extra clothes, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and important documents.
Facebook activated a Safety Check for Hurricane Matthew Thursday, a feature that allows users to check-in to a specific location, marking themselves “safe.” The tool also alerts family and friends.