A new track on Wednesday afternoon shows Hurricane Matthew's path leading it to a Category 4 storm on the Central Florida coast all day Friday.
The storm is expected to be along the Brevard/Volusia County coastline at around 2 p.m. Friday. The storm will be near the coast of Florida by Thursday night.
Hurricane warnings were issued in Central Florida as Hurricane Matthew bears down on the Bahamas, heading closer to the Atlantic coast of Florida. The warnings were issued in Volusia, Seminole, Osceola, Orange and Brevard counties until Saturday at 11:12 a.m. A tropical storm watch extends from the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys eastward and Florida Bay. A hurricane watch extends from the Flagler/Volusia County line north to the Florida/Georgia line. A hurricane warning extends from Golden Beach to the Flagler/Volusia County line and includes Lake Okeechobee.
Hurricane Matthew is barreling over the Bahamas and taking aim at Florida. The center of the storm is expected to arrive near the Florida coast on Thursday night. Florida hasn't been hit by a storm this powerful in more than a decade.
The 5 p.m. track showed Hurricane Matthew with winds at 120 miles per hour and moving northwest at 12 mph. The storm was about 205 miles south-southeast of Nassau, Cuba, and 400 miles southeast of West Palm Beach.
Gov. Rick Scott said during a Wednesday morning news conference that "if you're able to go early, leave now." The mandatory evacuations were scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. So far, only Brevard and Martin counties have issued mandatory evacuation orders.
Scott said Wednesday he didn't know how many people would be ordered to evacuate because it is left up to the counties, but he says every county along the coast is focused on it and has been preparing.
Scott also directed the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls in counties where there are evacuations, which includes State Road 528 Beachline in Brevard County.
The slow-moving storm was expected to drench the coast from the Keys through central Florida, storm surge up to 5 feet deep was expected along the Atlantic coast, and the hurricane could produce tornadoes. Even if Matthew doesn't come ashore, its tropical storm-force winds could reach the state.
The hurricane center said there is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along Florida's east coast from North Palm Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach.
There is a potential of storm surge flooding of 3 to 6 feet above ground along portions of the east central Florida coast. Large waves are expected to reach over 12 feet and produce rough surf.
HURRICANE MATTHEW: Troy Bridges News 6 is pinpointing the latest track for Matthew.Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Mandatory evacuations will begin Wednesday afternoon for Brevard County residents living on the barrier islands, including Merritt Island, low-lying flood-prone area and in mobile or manufactured homes, Brevard County officials said. All Causeways remain open as of Wednesday morning in Brevard County. None of the bridges are closed. Emergency personnel recommend that anyone that has been asked to evacuate needs to leave early.
The Satellite Beach city manager's Facebook page also said a mandatory evacuation is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday as Hurricane Matthew continues its trek north. The list of shelters was released Wednesday afternoon.
Voluntary evacuations have started in St. Lucie, Flagler and Duval counties on Wednesday, according to Gov. Rick Scott.
Volusia County officials said bridges from the mainland to the beach side will lock down begin on sundown Thursday.
At least 10 people have died, including five in Haiti, after Hurricane Matthew thrashed the country, Haiti's Civil Protection Service said.
More than 30 houses were washed away by the storm surge caused by Hurricane Matthew in the northeastern Cuban seaside town of Baracoa, the site where Christopher Columbus first landed in the Americas, a resident in the town said.
Five people have died in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew thrashed the country, Haiti's Civil Protection Service said.
The fatalities included a man who died when his house collapsed and two others who were killed by falling trees.
The agency said at least 1,580 homes have been flooded across Haiti, and roughly 2,700 families have been affected by Matthew.
Meanwhile, Florida's theme parks are taking a wait and see approach as Hurricane Matthew approaches the state.
In 2004, the parks closed for three hurricanes -- Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Disney and Universal also closed briefly during Wilma in 2005
Central Florida Forecast
On Wednesday, expect a similar day to Tuesday.
"We will reach a high of 88 in Orlando with a 50 percent chance of showers," said News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges. "We will stay mostly cloudy throughout the afternoon then rain and possible thunderstorms should fire up in the late afternoon."
Heavy rainfall is also expected, up to 4-7 inches and 10 inches at the most on the coast and 3-5" in inland counties causing a flooding threat Thursday night into Friday.
By evening most of the rain should be cleared out leaving Central Florida under a mostly cloudy sky. The lows will reach 76.
Tropical Storm Nicole
Tropical Storm Nicole is moving west-northwestward over the western Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph). It poses no threat to land.