ORLANDO, Fla. – The forecast cone for Hurricane Matthew has shifted farther west into Florida on Tuesday.
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The National Hurricane Center said the hurricane watches from Golden Beach to Sebastian Inlet and for Lake Okeechobee have been changed to hurricane warnings.
The hurricane watch has been extended northward to the Flagler/Volusia county line, the NHC said. The tropical storm watch from Seven Mile Bridge to Golden Beach has been changed to a tropical storm warning, and tropical storm warnings have been added from Chokoloskee to Ocean Reef and for Florida Bay.
As of 11 p.m., Hurricane Matthew was 55 miles east-northeast of Guantanamo, Cuba and 20 miles northwest of the eastern tip of Cuba. The storm was heading north at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds at 130 mph, keeping it as a Category 4 hurricane.
"This is a deadly storm approaching our coast. I can not stress that enough," said Scott.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward of up to 175 miles.
Flagler County issued a state of local emergency on Tuesday, following a statewide executive order issued by Scott.
In Brevard County, the Port Canaveral CEO issued an evacuation for landside operations on Tuesday. The order, which gives a deadline of evacuating by noon on Wednesday, affects Jetty Park campers, marinas and all Port businesses and tenants.
HURRICANE MATTHEW: Tom Sorrells - News 6 and Candace Campos have the latest update.Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Scott said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon in Volusia County that wind strength is the biggest concern and that many local counties will open shelters within the next 24 hours.
"Having a plan in place could mean the difference between life and death," Scott said, adding that residents can check FloridaDisaster.org for emergency plans, evacuation routes and shelter locations. “As Matthew continues to approach Florida, evacuations may be ordered today. If you are on Florida’s east coast, you should know today where you will go if you have to evacuate. If you are able to leave early and go now, before there is traffic, please go. No one should take any risks."
Scott also expressed that Volusia County residents need to prepare now.
"Three days of food, three days of water, battery powered radio, medication and backup batteries. Also, a fully charged phone because it might be the only source of communication if you lose power," he said.
Scott also discussed with city and county leaders including Volusia County Beach Safety Patrol, on what to expect along the coast.
"It's definitely not a time to learn how to surf or kayak or take anything out into the water. Please pay attention to beach conditions. If we're flying the double red flag, do not go in the water," said Captain Tammy Marris.
Residents also packed the sandbag stations to prepare for high winds and heavy rain.
"I have been through Andrew, I've been through Frances, Charley. You got to be safe rather than sorry," said Herman Robinson.
The Orlando International Airport said it is preparing for Hurricane Matthew and while no direct impact is expected. Travelers are urged to to contact their airlines directly for their specific flight. OIA is not a shelter.
Central Floridians hit the stores on Tuesday to stock up on items before Matthew.
Tree trimmers also saw an increase in business, as emergency managers warn not to pile yard debris at the curb if your weekly pickup does not occur before the storm. Branches can become missiles, they said.
The eye of powerful Hurricane Matthew made landfall Tuesday morning in Haiti.The storm, packing 145-mph winds, has killed at least three people, caused cruise ships to change course and prompted the governors of Florida and North Carolina to declare states of emergency.
Ferocious rain and wind thrashed Haiti throughout early Monday. Haiti's Civil Protection Agency reported the coastal towns of Anse-d'Hainault and Tiburon had partially flooded. Up to 40 inches of rain could be dumped on the impoverished nation -- one still recovering from a devastating earthquake that struck six years ago.
"We've already seen deaths. People who were out at sea. There are people who are missing. They are people who didn't respect the alerts. They've lost their lives," Interim Haitian President Jocelerme Privert said at a news conference.
As Matthew drenched Haiti with dozens of inches of rain, Cuba, the Bahamas and the United States took steps to prepare for the storm's arrival in the coming days.
Florida could be under a hurricane or tropical storm watch sometime Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.
"If Hurricane Matthew directly impacts Florida, there could be massive destruction which we haven't seen since Hurricane Andrew devastated Miami-Dade County in 1992," Scott said in a statement. "That is why we cannot delay and must prepare for direct impact now."
Matthew could also bring rip currents and high seas between 12 and 20 feet off the coast.
"We will also be dealing with beach erosion for all area beaches through the end of the week," News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges said.
Central Florida forecast
Rain chances on Tuesday in Orlando are 50 percent. The high will reach 88 degrees.
The forecast for the rest of the week in Central Florida depends on the track Matthew takes.
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