Hurricane Matthew |
United States

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew is the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade. Hundreds were killed in Haiti and thousands displaced, before the storm headed for the southeastern United States. Follow rolling updates here.

    Hurricane Matthew slammed into North Carolina and Virginia on Sunday, packing a diminished yet still potent punch as it caused major flooding and widespread power outages along the U.S. Atlantic coast.
    • 11 people killed in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina
    • two million businesses and homes without power
    • Matthew was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone

  • Residents in Florida await the arrival of Hurricane Matthew as countries it's already hit assess the damage.

  • Millions flee as Hurricane Matthew barrels towards Florida.

  • Hurricane Matthew leaves a trail of destruction in Haiti and barrels towards the southeastern U.S. coast.

  • White House spokesman Josh Earnest says residents in the path of Hurricane Matthew should heed the warning to evacuate and take shelter.
  • Florida residents batten down hatches ahead of Matthew's wrath

    ReutersMike Ryan packed his wife, daughter, three grandchildren, two dogs and three cats into a minivan and waved as they drove off on Thursday, leaving him behind to spend the night in his coastal Florida pub.
  • VERBATIM: Florida gov.: 'Game day' for Hurricane Matthew - Reuters TV

    Reuters TVFlorida governor Rick Scott gives an update on Hurricane Matthew as it approaches the state's southeastern coast
  • Some Florida residents ignore the evacuation order - Reuters TV

    Reuters TVDespite Governor Rick Scott warning that Hurricane Matthew may have catastrophic consequences, some Floridians are choosing to stay put, rather than evactuate
    by natalie.armstrong edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 8:40:14 PM
  • Power outages in Florida
    • NextEra Energy Inc's FPL power company in Florida said that Hurricane Matthew could leave as many as 2.5 million customers without power. The utility warned that some customers could experience "extended outages."
    • That's up from the company's forecast of 1.2 million customers that could lose power on Wednesday as the latest storm tracks show the hurricane steering closer to Florida over the next day or two.
    • FPL said the storm has already knocked out power to about 25,600 customers with about 12,900 homes and businesses still without service.

  • Reuters reporters in Florida and Georgia spoke to locals and the authorities about storm preparations and the situation on the ground, as states in the U.
    S. southeast braced for a possible Matthew landfall.

    Cheryl Mahan was squeezing in a last walk with her two small dogs, Flaca and Cleo, as a light rain began to fall in Cocoa Village, Florida.  

    "I wanted to get them out one last time," Mahan said. "We just came over from Merritt Island, where we live. Usually we stay there for storms but this time they've scared us with these winds," the retired librarian said, adding that she would be taking shelter in an apartment with some friends.

    "We're on the fourth floor, so we'll be OK," Mahan said.
    In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal reiterated his calls for 500,000 residents in six counties to evacuate the coast in a press conference at the state house. 

    "This can be a dangerous storm, it can inflict the loss of life," he said. 
    Jim Butterworth, the Director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, said that more than 3,500 spots in various shelters are ready to house evacuees and all state parks equipped with camping and other housing facilities will also be used to house evacuees. 

    Butterworth said that some predictions are that tropical storm winds could start hitting the state late Friday.

    (Reporting by Scott Malone and Richard McKay)
  • 'Time is up' - Florida Governor Scott

    "Time is up. You have to evacuate now if you are in an evacuation zone," Florida Governor Rick Scott told the 1.5 million residents of the evacuation zone in a morning press conference. 

    "Just think of all the people the hurricane has already killed. You and your family could be among these numbers if you don't take this seriously," Scott said.

    But some Florida residents are ignoring the evacuation orders. 


    "We evacuated Merritt Island. That's too exposed. Everything's boarded up. I think we'll be OK here."

    - Sallie Ann Mills, a 78-year-old retired school teacher, as she sat on the front porch of her daughter's bungalow in Cocoa, nursing a glass of white wine and facing the intracoastal waterway


    "We got up this morning and thought maybe we'd leave, but between the traffic and the gas lines, it's just too late. But we'll be OK.

    In the past, we always left. We always left when the kids were younger. You just can't take the risk."

    - Ray Oliver, 54, who is retired from the U.S. Army and responded to several major storms during his career

  • ''Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate,'' says Florida Governor Rick Scott as millions flee the U.S. Southeast to escape the potential impact Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade.
    by natalie.armstrong edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 8:49:52 PM
  • A man and his boat

    Randall Rule, 60, said he had agreed to friends' pleas not to ride out the storm on his 31-foot (9.5 m) boat, which he'd secured with a 1,000-pound (454-kg) mooring and two anchors.

    "I'm telling people that it might break in half, but it's not going anywhere," Rule said, sitting outside the Ossorio cafe, where plans to spend the night and provide security for the building. "Normally I just wait these things out on my boat, but I had a couple people tell me that if I stayed out there for this storm they were going to hurt me if I made it though."

    (Reporting by Scott Malone in Florida)

  • Obama has declared a state of emergency in Florida. Here's what that means:

    The action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts necessitated by the storm, a Category 4 hurricane packing winds of 140 mph (220 kph).

  • Frantic storm prep as Hurricane Matthew barrels toward U.S. - Reuters TV

    Reuters TVBusinesses boarded up, a run on food and water.... Residents in four southeastern states brace for Hurricane Matthew, which will pick up strength before hitting Florida and continuing up the coast.
    by natalie.armstrong edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 8:55:38 PM

  • The death toll in hurricane-ravaged Haiti hits at least 140, after Matthew left the already fragile Caribbean nation crippled.
  • Hurricane Matthew is one of the most intense storms to menace the North Atlantic in a decade. 


    Red danger banners are seen on the Melbourne beach while hurricane Matthew approaches in Melbourne, Florida, October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero 

    The U.S. Armed Forces have kicked preparations into gear ahead of Hurricane Matthew.

    In Florida, the U.S. Navy has ordered three ships, the USS Anzio, the USS Montgomery and the USS Iwo Jima, to depart their base in Mayport and head north and east to ride out the storm in calmer waters. 

    Other Navy ships there have moved to a safe location or are taking precautions to avoid damage in case the hurricane makes landfall, the Navy said.

    Moreover, the U.S. military's Northern Command has identified four facilities as FEMA installation support bases.  
    These areas will provide staging areas for trucks, trailers and other equipment and personnel that might be deployed during the weather emergency, the Pentagon said.  
    The support bases are the North Auxiliary Field, which is north of Charleston, South Carolina, Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base in Georgia as well as Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. 
    "The Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina National Guard are prepared for mobilization." said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. "All 4,500 Guardsmen have been mobilized by their respective state governors in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.” 
    (Reporting by Philip Stewart)
    by Maria Caspani edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 9:11:17 PM
  • Hurricane Matthew

    ReutersThe slow-moving cyclone, one of the most intense storms to menace the North Atlantic in the past decade, brought gale-force winds and dumped hazardous amounts of rain on several Caribbean nations.
  • Expect fuel shortages

    REUTERS/Randall Hill 

    The Southeast United States is expected to experience a fuel crunch in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, as the storm barrels toward one of the largest energy-consuming regions in the country.

    Some states are already experiencing supply constraints as motorists fill up tanks as an emergency precaution. The region is not known for energy production, but there are significant storage facilities directly in the path of the storm that have already been evacuated.

  • A woman carries a child walking between trees felled by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares 

  • MORE: Hurricane Matthew about 100 miles east-southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph
  • BREAKING: NHC says eye of Hurricane Matthew about to hit Freeport in Bahamas, potentially disastrous impact for Florida
  • SLIDESHOW: Southeast U.S braces for Hurricane Matthew 

    Homeowner Don Appell prepares to board up one of the windows at his home ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Cherry Grove, South Carolina, U.S. October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane 
     Workers remove umbrellas at the Starlite Hotel in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew in South Beach, Florida.  REUTERS/Javier Galeano
    Workers install storm boards at Ripley's Believe IT Or Not in preparation for Hurricane Matthew in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S. October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Randall Hill 
    National Guard Staff Sargent Reggie McCall (C) gives instructions to guard units 1782 and 172 before deploying for duty for Hurricane Matthew service in Conway, South Carolina6. REUTERS/Randall Hill 
    People walk along the beach prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Miami Beach, Florida. REUTERS/Javier Galeano 
    Brent Scurry of Lake City, South Carolina, works to install window shutters at an ocean front home in Garden City Beach, South Carolina. REUTERS/Randall Hill 
    Laura and George Callahan of James Island, South Carolina, load up their vehicle with bottled water and food purchased ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, in Folly Beach, South Carolina, U.S. October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake 

    1 of 7

    by Canice Leung edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 9:22:21 PM
  • This is an aerial shot of downtown Miami, as clouds begin to form in advance of Hurricane Matthew:

    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri 

  • Obama calls governors of the states in Hurricane Matthew's path

    President Barack Obama on Thursday called the governors of the states in Hurricane Matthew's path, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, to discuss preparations for the storm, which is expected to hit the U.S. Atlantic coast.

    "The president committed to providing necessary federal resources to help the states respond," the White House said in a statement.

  • Data Dive-Georgia (hurricanes) on my mind

    By Jillian Harding

    Hurricane Matthew's rains have already started to fall in Southern Florida, swirling in with wind speeds of 125 miles an hour and climbing.

    A Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, it's likely to become a Category 4 hurricane before it's done, putting it on track to be one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the United States in more than a decade. Only three hurricanes more severe than Category 3 have made landfall in the U.S. in the last 40 years:

    - Hugo, Category 4, South Carolina, 1989.
    - Andrew, Category 5, Florida, 1992.
    - Charley, Category 4, Florida and South Carolina, 2004

    Katrina, the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, made landfall in Florida and Louisiana in 2005 as a Category 3.

  • The latest NHC storm surge warning runs from Boca Raton all the way to Charleston, with surge inundation possibly greater than 9 feet in some areas:

    by Jeremy Schultz edited by Canice Leung 10/6/2016 9:45:15 PM

  • A view of destroyed houses after Hurricane Matthew passed Jeremie, Haiti. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 

  • Disney World posted this statement on their website:

    Based on the most recent forecasts for Hurricane Matthew, Walt Disney World theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, miniature golf courses and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be closed through Friday, Oct. 7.

    Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Theme Park is also canceled for tonight and tomorrow.

    by elizabeth.culliford edited by Maria Caspani 10/6/2016 9:54:51 PM

  • A gas station on Bay Street is toppled due to Hurricane Matthew striking Nassau, Bahamas. REUTERS/Dante Carrer 

  • After Hurricane Matthew, five ways to deal with damage

    Reuters Deputy Money Editor Beth Pinsker shares five tips on dealing with the aftermath, from Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute trade group:

    1. Your roof blows off

    Windstorm damage is covered under standard homeowners policies, both for private homes and privately owned apartments, and under renters policies for damage to personal belongings. 

    But there may be significant differences in deductibles, depending on your state. Policy parameters may vary when it comes to the storm's severity. In Florida, you may pay more - up to a 15 percent deductible - depending on your proximity to the coast.

    Any rain damage to the interior and your furnishings that occurs because of a hole blown in your building will also be covered, but not if the water is rising from the ground in a flooding situation.

    2. Street flooding swamps your house

    Flooding from the ground up is not covered by standard homeowners policies. No matter how many times insurance professionals point this out, people tend to forget about flood coverage or just do not want to deal with the additional costs. You need to get a flood policy directly from the government, with prices varying by risk zones (

    "People will buy a Starbucks coffee every day for a year, and that's OK. That's not too far away in price from getting the flood insurance, but they won't get it," says Worters.

    For those living in apartment buildings, it is important to find out if the building has flood coverage as well, Worters notes.

    3. A tree falls on your house

    Tree damage is one of the most common problems after a big storm. After the storm, however, adjusters tend to the biggest claims first. You might wait a while for your turn, especially if there are power outages in your area.

    Worters says it is fine to go ahead and make minor fixes to prevent more damage from happening. Just take pictures first and do not risk any personal injuries walking on shaky roofs or climbing a teetering tree.

    To prepare ahead of time, take a photo inventory of your house and store it online. The Insurance Information Institute provides a free app called Know Your Stuff ( for this purpose.

    4. Your car gets submerged or damaged by debris

    Auto damage is probably the easiest disaster to deal with because storm damage is covered under the comprehensive section of your auto policy. 

    This type of coverage is optional in most states, but many car owners take it out anyway.

    It does not matter if your car is parked on the street or in a garage when the damage happens, if it is hit by a falling branch or by a floating hazard. "It's very clear-cut," says Worters.

    5. Your insurance company goes bankrupt

    When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, it caused $24 billion in damages to Florida and Louisiana, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 

    Over the ensuing years, seven of the 10 costliest hurricanes have involved Florida. That has driven insurance companies out of business and raised rates in other states as national companies try to recoup their losses.

    But the industry is on good financial footing right now, according to Worters, with a record surplus industry wide of more than $680 billion. In case of problems with smaller companies, there is a guarantee fund that protects policyholders if their provider goes belly-up.

    "They're in the best shape ever to pay claims," says Worters.

  • PHOTOS: Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

    A girl walks in a flooded area in Les Cayes. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares 
    A television is seen in a house destroyed in Les Cayes. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares 
    People walk down the street next to destroyed houses in Jeremie. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
    A girl cries as she stays with her relatives at a partially destroyed school in Jeremie. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
    People walk down the streets next to destroyed houses in Jeremie, Haiti. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
    A girl walks on a damaged tree in Les Cayes. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares 
    A man walks amongst trees damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares 
    People walk next to destroyed houses after Hurricane Matthew passes Jeremie, Haiti. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
    Destroyed desks are seen in a school in Jeremie, Haiti. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 

    1 of 9

    By Makini Brice and Joseph Guyler Delva | LES CAYES/PORT-AU-PRINCE

    Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 140 people, almost all of them in hard-hit Haiti, where authorities and rescue workers were still struggling to reach remote areas on the southwestern peninsula as the storm powered its way towards Florida.


    Haiti's civil protection service put the toll in the impoverished Caribbean nation at 108 dead, with many of them killed by falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers. The Interior Ministry, a mayor and other local officials confirmed 28 other deaths to Reuters across Haiti.

    Most of the fatalities were in towns and fishing villages around the Tiburon peninsula, one of Haiti's most picturesque regions. The storm passed directly through the peninsula, driving the sea inland and flattening homes with winds of up to 145 mph (230 kph) and torrential rain on Monday and Tuesday.


    by jason.fields edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 10:29:19 PM
  • NASA on alert

    NASA and the U.S. Air Force, which operate the nation’s primary space launch site, took steps to safeguard personnel and equipment. 

    A team of 116 Kennedy Space Center (KSC) employees bunkered down inside the Launch Control Center to ride out the hurricane, which is believed to be the first on a possible direct path to the spaceport located along the Atlantic Ocean east of Orlando. 

    "We've had some close calls, but as far as I know it's the first time we've had the threat of a direct hit (except in the movie Marooned)," NASA spokesman George Diller wrote in an email to Reuters from inside the hurricane bunker. 

    The Orion capsule sits on top of the service module as it is moved from the Operations & Checkout Building to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (L) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida September 11, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Brown 

    (Reporting by Reuters correspondents)

    by Maria Caspani edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 10:29:22 PM
  • Aftermath in the Bahamas:

     Residents of Grove West walk through flooded streets in Nassau. REUTERS/Dante Carrer
     A boat sits washed up along the shore after breaking free of its mooring on the island of Exuma, Bahamas. REUTERS/Reno Curling
     Large trees lie toppled in Nassau. REUTERS/Dante Carrer
     Rescue workers run through a washed out road after removing debris to allow a bus carrying government workers to assess the damage on the island of Exuma. REUTERS/Reno Curling
     Guests listen to an update on Hurricane Matthew after spending a night on beach chairs in a ballroom at the Melia Hotel in Nassau. 

    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
     A toppled hydro pole and power lines lie across a road in the settlement of Rolle Town on the island of Exuma. REUTERS/Reno Curling

    1 of 6

    by Jeremy Schultz edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 10:29:25 PM
  • From a press conference with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley:

    "As of 3 pm today, we had 280,000 who have evacuated, up from 175,000 this morning. We hope to see stronger numbers."

    Haley said some residents were offering free shelter for evacuees. Haley added that. Beaufort Memorial hospital was being evacuated, as a sign of the seriousness of the situation.

    "This is really a serious storm. I am begging you to understand the seriousness of the storm," Haley said.

    by Maria Caspani edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 10:29:26 PM
  • Life-threatening storm surge

    The storm surge produced by Hurricane Matthew is expected to reach 7 to 11 feet along the Florida coast and be life threatening, Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, said on CNN. 

    "What we know is that most of the lives lost in hurricanes is due to storm surge," he said. 
    The storm is "closing in on the coast" with winds extending 50 miles out from its center.
    However, forecasters do not expect it to strengthen beyond Category 4 and it was unclear if the hurricane would make landfall in Florida or skirt along the coast, Rappaport said.

    (Reporting by Cynthia Ostherman)

  • A message is written on a plywood board covering a window at a local liquor store ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Cherry Grove, South Carolina, U.S. October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane

  • Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez said at a press conference that he expected the worst of the storm to have passed his patch by midnight.

    Evacuation shelters will close in the morning of Friday and bridges will begin opening at 6 am.

    (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter)
    by Maria Caspani edited by elizabeth.culliford 10/6/2016 10:29:32 PM
  • Shelves formerly holding water bottles sit empty at a supermarket before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in South Daytona, Florida, U.S., October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Phelan Ebenhack

  • Residents shelter at a school in North Charleston.   

    REUTERS/Jonathan Drake  

  • Evacuees wait to check in at a Red Cross shelter at Trinity On The Hill Methodist church in Augusta. 
    REUTERS/Tami Chappell  

    by Jeremy Schultz edited by Maria Caspani 10/6/2016 10:43:36 PM
  • CoreLogic, a California-based real estate market information firm, estimates that Hurricane Matthew could cause up to $189 billion of storm surge damage to residential property in Florida alone, based on the reconstruction value of 954,394 Florida homes believed to be at risk from the Category 4 storm. 

    (Reporting by David Morgan)
  • Shelves that held water bottles sit empty at a supermarket in South Daytona.  

    REUTERS/Phelan Ebenhack   

  • A woman carries her clothes out from her destroyed house in Jeremie, Haiti.
    REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins  

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