Entire towns are underwater after Hurricane Matthew closes in on Georgia and South Carolina in the US
Florida,S.Carolina,Oct8:Hurricane Matthew thundered towards Georgia and South Carolina on Friday night, battering their coastline with 7ft waves and 100mph winds.
Six people have died in the US since the storm took hold in southern Florida in the early hours of Friday morning.
It traveled to Georgia on Friday evening, thrashing the state’s coastal cities with rain and pummeling waves before making its way towards South Carolina in the early hours of the morning.
At around 2am, it was 44 miles south of Hilton Head in South Carolina. More than 120,000 are without power in Georgia with the worst of the storm yet to hit. Tornado warnings have also been issued.
All flights to and from Savannah have been canceled, with the airport shutting its doors at midnight on Friday. Charleston airport closed even earlier, at around 1pm, and will remain closed until Saturday.
More than 800 people have been killed in Haiti, the worst hit place, where 350,000 are still in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
In Florida, entire towns were underwater and more than 1million without power as the scale of Matthew’s destruction became clear on Friday night.
Some 23,000 people are in shelters across the state where surges and flash floods are likely to leave yet more devastation.
Hundreds have flocked to shelters in Georgia and South Carolina in anticipation of the storm.
Governor Rick Scott warned on Friday evening that the worst devastation would come after the hurricane had passed, with waves as tall as 9ft predicted in some of the worst hit areas of Florida.
Florida’s Governor Rick Scott said on Friday evening: ‘Let’s remember this storm has not passed. There is no victory lap. It’s still in our state. ‘
‘Hopefully the storm is going to finish with us tonight but we have to be cautious. We worked hard to be prepared, now let’s be cautious.’
Storm surges in coastal Georgia and South Carolina could reach up to nine feet, bringing with it some 15 inches of rain. Hurricane warnings are in effect up as far as Wilmington, North Carolina. Six coastal counties in Georgia were evacuated earlier in the week.
ABC meteroologist Daniel Manzo said: ‘We expect the center of Hurricane Matthew to come very close to Charleston near daybreak this morning with life threatening storm surge and major flash flooding along the southeast coastline from Georgia to North Carolina.’
A woman aged in her late 50s died after she suffered a heart attack not longer after the St Lucie Fire Department stopped responding to emergency calls due to wind gusts.
An 82-year-old man who was unconscious and having difficult breathing also died after someone drove him to the hospital. Emergency services were unable to respond, according to the Palm Beach Post.
A third person died in Volusia County, when a tree fell on her while she was feeding animals outside her home, according to WFTV.
Local residents Michael and Tori Munton make their way through the flooded streets of downtown historic Saint Marys, Georgia, as the state and the Carolinas were preparing for the worst on Friday
A man runs through the street to safety as the storm approaches Saint Marys, Georgia on Friday
In Brunswick, Georgia, a hardware store owner placed sandbags at her door as flood water slowly began tricking into the streets
On St Simon’s Island, residents filmed flood water rushing through streets and surrounding houses on Friday afternoon
St Simons Island, which was one of the first places to be affected in Georgia, saw debris brought across its roads
Keith Paseur and Pat Barlow in Brunswick, Georgia, made sure to document the scene before the worst of the storm set in
A man struggles with his umbrella as he boldly goes walking on the beach on Tybee Island which some residents refused to evacuate
Rising waves did not put one thrill-seeker off at the Isle of Palms in South Carolina on Friday afternoon. The worst of the weather set in
Children played on the beach in the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, on Friday despite grave warnings about the hurricane throughout the state
Quite the entrance: Denisha Garrett is 40 weeks pregnant and due to give birth to her son any minute. She sought safety in a shelter in Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday and plans to name her baby after the hurricane if he arrives during it
In Brunswick, Georgia, Trey Tait grills chicken under a generator for his wife Debbie as they watched over their hardware store
Tough conditions: A cyclist in Charleston grimaced as he faced the battering rain and wind on Friday night
Residents of St Augustine struggled through the water on Friday afternoon after the worst of the hurricane past the town
In Titusville, Florida, a sunken boat sits between two sturdier vessels which weathered the rising tides
The worst of the storm was expected to strike South Carolina at around 1am, making its way to North Carolina on Saturday evening. It will then tail off and head back down on itself towards the Caribbean however will have a fraction of the strength
St Augustine was one of the worst affected cities of Florida, with much of the town submerged in flood water by Friday afternoon
Devastated: Nick Lomasney walks through heavy wind and a flooded street in St Augustine on Friday
Stuck: Another motorist checks on his car in St Augustine, the worst affected area for floods
Staying afloat: One pick-up truck was able to make its way through the floods in St Augustine while other cars and vans remained abandoned on the side of the road