Hurricane Matthew Impacting Travel En Route to United States
Photo: Projected Hurricane Matthew trajectory. (Photo via @CBS12)
On Tuesday, Category 4 storm Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.
According to NBCNews.com, the heavy rain and massive wind gusts from the hurricane have already knocked out power to Haiti and caused massive flooding, with 20-40 inches of rain expected from the storm.
Once Hurricane Matthew passes through Haiti, it will then head toward Cuba and the Bahamas, where up to 20 inches of rain is expected and storm surges of 10-15 feet are possible. After the storm makes its way through the Caribbean, it looks more and more like it will make landfall in the United States.
The cruise industry is already feeling the pressure from the storm, as major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line have made changes to their itineraries this week, according to News4Jax.com.
As for air travel, many flights to the Caribbean have already been canceled. Some airlines are offering to waive change fees for plane trips to parts of the Caribbean, and there is a belief that they could do the same for destinations in the U.S. depending on the trajectory of the storm.
Hurricane Matthew is already the most powerful storm in the Atlantic Ocean since 2007, and its current westward trajectory indicates at least some impact on the east coast of the U.S. later this week.
Hurricane Matthew Haiti pic.twitter.com/AqT8OMS4F5— juan (@JuanelBau) October 4, 2016
Meteorologists believe the southeastern coast of the U.S. is the most likely location for the storm to make its biggest impact, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued states of emergency Monday.
“The possibility exists for mandatory evacuations starting as early as late this evening in South Florida and definitely Wednesday for southern half of Florida on the east coast,” NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said. “With an expected path right along the Florida's east coast Matthew could be the biggest mass evacuation of coastal Florida since Floyd in 1999. And just like Floyd, it is not guaranteed that Matthew's eye will make landfall in Florida but it will be a close call.”
Karins said he believes Hurricane Matthew will remain a Category 3 or 4 storm when it approaches Florida Thursday and will slow to a Category 2 or 3 by the time it reaches Georgia and North Carolina Friday.
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