Millions flee deadly Hurricane Matthew

Tracking Hurricane Matthew on Thursday

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Murderous Hurricane Matthew is roaring toward a collision with the Florida coast.

Millions of people are under evacuation orders. Winds could top 145 miles an hour. The storm surge could top 11 feet. Airlines have already canceled thousands of flights. This could be the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. in a decade.

It has already killed at least 100 people in Haiti. And Florida's governor is warning people along the coast of the Sunshine State that it could kill them too.

The National Weather Service offered a chilling forecast: "Possible devastating impacts" on the east coast of central Florida. "Structural damage to sturdy buildings...Complete roof and wall failures. Complete destruction of mobile homes...Large airborne projectiles." Some "locations uninhabitable for weeks or months."

In the surf at Lakeworth, Florida, little sign of the fury expected to start grinding up the Southeast coast Thursday night into Saturday.

The Category 4 storm is again picking up power in the warm waters near the Bahamas after killing an estimated 108 people in Haiti.

The White House warned that the destruction in Haiti could foreshadow the devastation in the U.S. Thousands of Haitians are now homeless and the government has suspended a presidential election.

WATCH LIVE: Hurricane Matthew threatens Florida

In eastern Cuba, the storm leveled homes and filled streets with mud and debris.

As Floridians head inland, near Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, gas stations are running out of fuel.

"It's crazy. Every place I've been to has been jam packed so far. We've had cops here, almost an accident,” said one man at a gas station.
Millions of people are headed to higher ground on crowded highways.

But Gov. Rick Scott said it's already past time to go.

"No excuses, you need to leave,” he said. “Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate."

Emergency shelters are filling up.
In Georgia, seniors were evacuated 300 miles to Atlanta from a retirement home on the coast.

Across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, people are shuttering their homes, hoping they'll still be there when they return.

Thursday afternoon, President Obama signed a federal emergency declaration for the state before the storm started to hit.

On social media, #PrayforFlorida was trending.


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