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article imageFlorida preparing for 'a direct hit' from Hurricane Matthew

By Karen Graham     Oct 5, 2016 in Science
While aid teams in Haiti struggle to reach victims of Hurricane Matthew's fury, Florida Governor Rick Scott has been repeatedly warning Floridians to "prepare for a direct hit" from the monster storm.
Hampered by washed out bridges and mudslides, aid teams in Haiti struggled to reach areas cut off by the ravaging force of Hurricane Matthew. At least 11 deaths, including four in the Dominican Republic, are being blamed on the destructive storm.
“What we know is that many, many houses have been damaged,” Haitian Interior Minister François Anick Joseph was quoted by the Washington Post as saying. “Some lost rooftops and they’ll have to be replaced, while others were totally destroyed.”
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Hurricane Matthew - Twitter
International aid teams have already been organized and are on their way, with the focus on clean water and shelter. The U.S. Navy has sent three ships, including a hospital ship, an amphibious carrier, and an aircraft carrier to the storm-ravaged nation.
Venezuela, already in an economic crisis, mobilized an airlift of humanitarian supplies and UK-based Oxfam is concentrating on sanitation and clean water supplies. Haiti was already in the throes of a cholera outbreak before the hurricane hit, so OXfam's aid is sorely needed.
Jean-Michel Vigreux, the director in Haiti for the aid group CARE, is estimating the damages could exceed $1.0 billion, and this is before a full tally of the devastation.
Hurricane Matthew churns north
The NHC 11:00 a.m. advisory puts Category 3 Hurricane Matthew about 50 miles (90 kilometers) north-northeast of CaboLucrecia, Cuba and 105 miles (165 kilometers) south of Long Island, Bahamas, moving in a northwesterly direction at 12 mph (19 kph).
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Hurricane Matthew - Twitter
NOAA and Air Force Hurricane Hunter planes have penetrated the storm's eyewall, and maximum sustained winds in the storm's center are 120 mph (195 kph) with Hurricane-force winds extending 45 miles (75 kilometers) outward from the center, and Tropical-force winds extending outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers).
Both hurricane hunter planes recorded a minimum central pressure at 11:00 a.m. of 962 mb (28.41 inches). The Bahamas can see rainfall amounts of between 8 to 12 inches with isolated rainfall amounts of up to 15 inches. For coastal east and central Florida, rainfall amounts of 4 to 7 inches are possible with as much as 10 inches in some areas.
Storm surge in the Bahamas will be dangerously high with levels of 10 to 15 feet expected, while along the Florida coast, from North Palm Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line, surge levels of 3 to 5 feet will be seen.
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