Hurricane Matthew: More than 1 million without power in Florida

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Hurricane Matthew's center is in the Atlantic about 40 miles east-southeast of St. Augustine, Florida, as the storm continues to lash Florida's northeast coast, the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. ET Friday advisory.

The steady march of the storm has left more than 1 million customers in Florida without power.

State officials released updated totals on Friday that showed that the powerful Category 3 storm had knocked out electricity over a wide stretch of the state's eastern coast. Most of the customers in Flagler and Volusia County — the home to Daytona Beach — were without power. Other hard hit areas include Brevard and Indian River counties.

The storm was strong enough to also cause outages in Central Florida. More than 100,000 who live in the Orlando area are without electricity.

***Track Hurricane Matthew here***

The storm threatened to push dangerous storm surges into Jacksonville with or without landfall and eventually communities along coastal Georgia and South Carolina.

Although projections showed the storm still could go out to sea without landfall, its center very well could cross land with devastating effect, if not in Florida, then in Georgia or the Carolinas.

"(Matthew) will move into land at some point ... because the coast turns (east) before it will," CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said.

High water arrived late Friday morning in St. Augustine, a coastal city 35 miles southeast of Jacksonville. A virtual river of water was rushing past a bed and breakfast business there, according to video posted by reporter Russell Colburn of CNN affiliate WJAX.

"20 people, including children, stuck in #StAugustine bed &breakfast. They say they're getting worried, as the surge is about to come in," Colburn posted on Twitter.

Special concern surrounded Jacksonville's St. Johns River, which could be overwhelmed by water pushed into it by the storm.

"Just because the center of circulation is offshore doesn't mean you can't be the center of action (along the coast)," National Hurricane Center Director Richard Knabb said Friday morning. "It's going to get a lot worse before it (has) a chance of getting better."

**Continuing coverage on Hurricane Matthew**

Here's what you need to know:

• As of 1 p.m. ET, Matthew's center was over the Atlantic, about 70 miles southeast of Jacksonville, the National Hurricane Center said. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from that center.

• At least one Florida death has been linked to the storm -- a 50-year-old woman who died overnight after a heart attack in St. Lucie County, the county's emergency operations center said. The center considers it a storm-related death because firefighters had to stop responding to emergency calls because of high winds.

• Jacksonville could see storm surges of up to 9 feet Friday afternoon, forecasters said. Anything over 3 feet in the city is life-threatening, Mayor Lenny Curry said.

• "Very dangerous conditions, and it's going to get worse into the afternoon," Curry said.

• Nearly 827,000 customers statewide were without power Friday.

• Forecasters predict storm surges in coastal Georgia and South Carolina also could be as high as 9 feet, and as many as 15 inches of rain could fall from central Florida to North Carolina.

• The National Weather Service warned that some places hit by Matthew could be uninhabitable for "weeks or months."

• The storm has killed at least 276 people in three Caribbean countries. The majority, 271 people, died in Haiti, said Civil Protection Service spokesman Joseph Edgard Celestin.

'Really dangerous'

Though the storm had yet to make landfall, it left swaths of coastal Florida with downed trees and power lines.

Matthew kicked up debris and street flooding in Daytona Beach late Friday morning. Video recorded by journalist Robert Ray showed metallic, foil-like debris and other small objects rolling down one of the streets in the city.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said officials are particularly concerned about low-lying areas in and around Jacksonville, where there is potential for significant flooding.

He said all major roads and interstate highways were open as of late morning, and no major road or traffic issues were reported. In some of the counties that the storm has passed, it appeared that evacuations urged by local officials worked, he said.

"While the storm is still on, don't go outside," Scott said.

More than 22,000 people were in shelters statewide, he said.

President Barack Obama urged people in coastal northeastern Florida and Georgia to heed the instructions of local officials as Hurricane Matthew approached.

"This is still a really dangerous hurricane," Obama said at the White House Friday. "We're not going to know for three, four, five days what the ultimate effects of this (storm) are."

Major southern Florida population centers like Miami and West Palm Beach appeared to have avoided the worst of the storm, as the dangerous eye wall stayed around 100 miles off the coast of south Florida.

Parts of the Miami area saw tropical storm force winds, but higher hurricane force winds were a couple hundred miles further north. Winds knocked down power lines in Miami-Dade County, leaving less than 33,000 customers without power, Florida Power & Light said.

Voluntary and mandatory evacuations in the state stretch from Miami to the Florida-Georgia border.

Airline passengers were urged to call and check on the status of their scheduled flights before leaving for the airport. Florida airports had canceled hundreds of flights, most of them in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Fort Lauderdale closed its airport, airlines suspended operations in Miami, and Orlando's airport closed Thursday evening.

Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina

As northeastern Florida braced for impact, coastal communities in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina also were on notice. The storm's center could be near or over the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday, the hurricane center said.

Georgia

• Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in 30 counties near the coast and ordered evacuations for all counties east of Interstate 95.

• Of special concern is Tybee Island, a low-lying island east of Savannah, which is also under mandatory evacuation orders.

• In Savannah, Mayor Eddie DeLoach warned those who stay that they'd be on their own.

South Carolina

• South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley warned residents who didn't evacuate to go to a shelter Friday. A major storm surge of 8 feet or more is approaching low-lying areas in the state, including Charleston.

• Although 310,000 people have evacuated the area, Haley says that's not enough. Officials in some areas are going door to door, urging people to leave. Police in Pawleys Island near Charleston asked residents who decided to stay in spite of the evacuation orders to sign a waiver and list their next of kin, according to CNN affiliate WBTW.

North Carolina

• Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for the entire state. So far, though, there's been no official call to evacuate.

• Officials are concerned that eastern North Carolina areas that were recently flooded will see more rain from Matthew.

Scott said all major roads and interstate highways are open, and no major road or traffic issues have been reported. In some of the counties that the storm has passed, it appeared "the evacuations worked," he said.

Still, he said, the state was not out of the woods.

"While the storm is still on, don't go outside," he said.

More than 22,000 people were in shelters, he said.

Cape Canaveral recorded a 107 mph gust before 7 a.m. ET as the storm pounding Florida's east-central coast with dangerous winds and heavy rain, the National Hurricane Center said.

Weather experts were watching for the slightest change in Matthew's unpredictable path, which they say could make an enormous difference to the hurricane's impact on land.

"The exact path is so critical," said CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. "Miles and kilometers really count, because if it wobbles westward by say 30 miles, it brings those strong winds onshore."

More than 476,000 Florida Power & Light customers were without power Friday morning. The downpour, storm surge and extreme winds are expected to hit central and northern sections of the Florida coast, including communities such as Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, according to the hurricane center.

Here's what you need to know:

• As of 9 a.m. ET, Matthew was about 45 miles southeast of Daytona Beach. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from that center.

• Based on the latest projections, Matthew could make landfall in Florida as a Category 3 storm, or it could skirt the coast and head north before possibly heading back toward land.

• Forecasters predict a storm surge in parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina that could be as high as 11 feet, and as many as 15 inches of rain could fall from central Florida to North Carolina.

• The National Weather Service warned that some places hit by Matthew could be uninhabitable for "weeks or months."

• The storm has killed at least 276 people in three Caribbean countries. The majority, 271 people, died in Haiti, said Civil Protection Service spokesman Joseph Edgard Celestin.

• Major southern Florida population centers like Miami and West Palm Beach appeared to have avoided the worst of the storm. West Palm Beach officials said that although they had yet to make a full assessment, there were no major reports of injuries or significant damage early Friday. Winds knocked down power lines in Miami-Dade County, leaving less than 33,000 customers without power, Florida Power & Light said.

• Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who spent the better part of the past three days warning residents to evacuate ahead of the hurricane, described the storm as a "monster."

• Many people left coastal areas, but others stayed, anxious to see how their area would stand up to the storm.

'Massive destruction' possible

Scott told those on the state's Atlantic coast that the question is not whether they will lose power, but for how long.

A direct hit by Matthew, he said, could lead to "massive destruction" on a level unseen since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations in the state stretch from Miami to the Florida-Georgia border.

At least two counties were under curfew until 7 a.m. Saturday, officials announced. Orange and Volusia Counties on Thursday night instituted mandatory curfews. Those included Orlando and Daytona Beach.

Airline passengers were urged to call before leaving for the airport. Florida airports had canceled hundreds of flights, most of them in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Fort Lauderdale closed its airport, airlines suspended operations in Miami, and Orlando's airport closed Thursday evening.

Palm Beach residents cleared grocery store shelves ahead of the storm. Despite all the warnings, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio said not everyone is listening, even with mandatory evacuation orders in place.

Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina

As eastern Florida braced for impact, coastal communities in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina also were on notice. The storm's center could be near or over the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday, the hurricane center said.

Georgia

• Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in 30 counties near the coast and ordered evacuations for all counties east of Interstate 95.

• Of special concern is Tybee Island, a low-lying island east of Savannah, which is also under mandatory evacuation orders.

• In Savannah, Mayor Eddie DeLoach warned those who stay that they'd be on their own.

South Carolina

• Cars packed highways as South Carolina residents fled coastal areas after officials gave mandatory evacuation orders for several counties. But as thousands fled inland, some people said they were staying put.

• Close to half a million people were expected to have evacuated by Thursday, said Kim Stenson, director of South Carolina Emergency Management.

• The South Carolina Department of Transportation changed the directions of eastbound traffic lanes on highways to accommodate the exodus of people leaving coastal cities like Charleston.

North Carolina

• Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for the entire state. So far, though, there's been no official call to evacuate.

• Officials are concerned that eastern North Carolina areas that were recently flooded will see more rain from Matthew.

**Continuing coverage**