Image: AP

Hurricane Matthew hit Florida this morning, with powerful winds reaching up to 107 miles per hour on the tip of Cape Canaveral, making Matthew the strongest storm to hit the US since 2005. The hurricane claimed its first US victim in Florida last night.

Advertisement

A 58-year-old woman died of cardiac arrest in her home in Port St. Lucie, according to local reports. An emergency call came in at 1:20 a.m., but emergency responders were not able to save the woman because they had suspended operations due to the storm. Officials are considering it a storm-related death because they were unable to properly respond to the call.

Despite the major damage caused by the storm, things could have been much worse. Hurricane Matthew was weakened to a Category 3 hurricane overnight.

Advertisement

Weather experts believe the storm will continue to run parallel to the southeastern tip of the US, brushing along states like Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Although the hurricane has been downgraded to Category 3, it’s still deadly. The hurricane is expected to cause storm surges of up to 10 feet, coupled with 15 inches of rain. The deluge of water is expected to cause massive flooding along the coast.

Hurricane Matthew is already responsible for one of the largest coordinated evacuations in US history. About 3.1 million people were told to evacuate Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, according to ABC News. More than 1.5 million Florida residents have been asked to evacuate the area, making it the largest evacuation in Florida’s history.

At the time of publishing, Hurricane Matthew is 35 miles from Daytona Beach and 95 miles out of Jacksonville. The storm is expected to make landfall in the coming hours, then curl along the eastern coast as it causes flooding throughout the area. The storm has already claimed the lives of more than 300 people in Haiti and displaced hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Caribbean. Frighteningly, Hurricane Matthew’s impact on the US has only just begun.

Sponsored

We will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.


Palm trees sway in high gusts of wind, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Vero Beach, Fla. Hurricane Matthew continues to make a path for Florida’s east coast from the Bahamas. (Image: AP)
Ted Houston and his dog Kermit visit the beach as Hurricane Matthew approaches the area on October 6, 2016 in Palm Beach, United States. The hurricane is expected to make landfall sometime this evening or early in the morning as a category 4 storm. (Image: Getty)
Michael Blackman, left, and Sam Titus board up a bar a few blocks off the beach Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Hurricane Matthew continues to churn its way toward Florida’s east coast. The bar is planning on staying open during Matthew. (Image: AP)
Kevin Forde (L) and John Haughey put up plywood on a window as they prepare for Hurricane Matthew as it approaches the area on October 6, 2016 in Miami Beach, United States. The hurricane is expected to make landfall sometime this evening or early in the morning as a category 4 storm. (Image: Getty)
A loaf of bread is all that was left in the bread aisle of a Wal-Mart supermarket in Kissimmee, Florida as people buy supplies in preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Matthew, on October 6, 2016. Some three million people on the US southeast coast faced an urgent evacuation order Thursday as monstrous Hurricane Matthew — now blamed for more than 100 deaths in Haiti alone — bore down for a direct hit on Florida. (Image: Getty)
There are no lines to board flights at the Palm Beach International airport after flights in and out were cancelled in the afternoon as Hurricane Matthew advances, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Officials at Florida’s major airports are monitoring conditions as Hurricane Matthew bears down on Florida. (Image: AP)
A billboard canvas flaps in the wind after Hurricane Matthew passed off shore, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in North Palm Beach, Fla. Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight with the strongest winds of 120 mph just offshore as the storm pushed north, threatening hundreds of miles of coastline in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. (Image: AP)
Waves from Hurricane Matthew crash against a bridge Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine, Fla. Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight, and its storm center hung just offshore as it moved up the Florida coastline, sparing communities its full 120 mph winds. (Image: AP)
Waves from Hurricane Matthew batter a boat dock Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine , Fla. Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight, and its storm center hung just offshore as it moved up the Florida coastline, sparing communities its full 120 mph winds. (Image: AP)
Waves crash ashore as Hurricane Matthew approaches the area on October 6, 2016 in Singer Island, Florida. The hurricane is expected to make landfall sometime this evening or early in the morning as a possible Category 4 storm. (Image: Getty)