Last updated at 11 p.m. ET Wednesday:
Hurricane Matthew is moving closer to the Central Bahamas. It has not strengthened yet, but it is expected to intensify as it gets closer to Florida. It is a dangerous category 3 storm that is expected to bring it very near the Florida east coast.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the area north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach.
Use the links below to jump to these sections:
- The latest update ▼
- Interactive Storm Tracker ▼
- Latest distance from Florida cities ▼
- Current tropical watches, warnings ▼
- Forecast models, track ▼
- Previous updates ▼
- Hurricane Center | Supply checklist | PRINTABLE Hurricane Preparedness Guide | Your weather pictures
- State phone numbers:
Maximum sustained winds are still about 115 mph, which is still a category 3 storm, according to National Hurricane Center forecasters. It's decreased in speed, moving northwest at about 10 mph. Matthew is expected to intensify overnight or into Thursday.
Hurricane conditions are expected to first reach the hurricane warning area in Florida late Thursday and will spread northward Thursday night and Friday. Matthew is expected to be Category 4 storm when it reaches the state.
This will not be a big rain event for most of Central and West-Central Florida. Rainfall could be heavy with the core of the hurricane on the immediate East Coast.
Rainfall output, according to computer models, shows up to 8 inches of rain on the East Coast but just a couple of inches in the Orlando area and maybe only 1 inch in Polk county and even less in the Tampa Bay area.
There is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the Florida east coast from Deerfield Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line and a possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Savannah River.
- HURRICANE MATTHEW COVERAGE:
Some gas stations are running out of gas as people prepare for Hurricane Matthew.
The Wawa gas station on East Colonial Drive in Orlando ran out of gas Wednesday night.
Caila Coleman, 28, said her mom gave her a list of things she needed to do before a hurricane and said getting ice and gas were both on that list.
"I had to fight my way across here because it was so much traffic just trying to get into Wawa," said Coleman.
We also got reports of possible price gouging at several gas stations in the area.
If you're concerned, you can call the Florida Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has requested an emergency declaration from the the Obama administration, which pre-emptively asks the federal government for items such as food, water and tarps. The governor also activated an additional 1,000 National Guard members for a total of 1,500.
Flagler County officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation of two zones, set to begin at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Evacuation Zone A includes everything east of the Intracoastal Waterway, including Marineland, The Hammock and Flagler Beach along A1A.
Evacuation Zone B includes the neighborhoods along Colbert Lane to the south, all of the C-section and the F-section east of Florida Park Drive and the F-section east of Palm Harbor Parkway.
This zone also includes the area east of Old Kings Road, south of State Road 100, including Bulow and its adjacent neighborhood, Grand Haven and western Flagler Beach.
These residents will be notified of the evacuation order by CodeRED.
The bridges to the barrier island will close when sustained winds reach 45 mph, emergency officials said.
- Stay with News 13 online and on mobile for the latest updates on Hurricane Matthew. If you lose power, count on us to get you the information you need to stay safe.
6:15 p.m. Volusia County has ordered a mandatory evacuation for beachside, low-lying areas and RV and mobile home parks. Residents must evacuate before Thursday night. A list of Volusia shelter locations has not been released.
At about 6 p.m. Thursday, the county said Volusia mainland-to-beachside bridges will close, and exit from the beachside will be impossible. No emergency services can or will be provided to those who fail to evacuate from the beachside.
6:05 p.m. Central Florida-area hospitals are preparing for the arrival of Matthew and have announced new hours, closures and, in the case of coastal hospitals, the relocation of patients.
Several Orlando Health specialty practices will close at noon Thursday, the hospital organization said. This includes the Orlando Health Physician Group, Orlando Health Physician Associates, Orlando Health Pediatric Associates, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Specialty Practices and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies Specialty Practices. Each office will contact patients to reschedule.
Orlando Health hospitals and outpatient centers that perform diagnostic or elective procedures or treatments will close by mid-afternoon Thursday. Procedures scheduled for Thursday for patients who will be fully recovered by 3 p.m. will go on as planned. Procedures that require more recovery time will be rescheduled.
Orlando Health’s emergency departments and level 1 trauma centers will remain open.
At Florida Hospital, its facility in Ormond Beach, Florida Hospital Oceanside, was evacuated Wednesday. About 50 patients were taken to Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The Oceanside's emergency department is also closed.
About 30 medical/surgical patients and 5 intensive care unit patients were evacuated from Florida Hospital New Smyrna. The 30 were taken to Fish Memorial in Orange City, the 5 ICU patients were taken to the DeLand facility.
As of 7 p.m. Thursday through the storm’s duration, all Florida Hospital outpatient facilities within the East Florida Region will be closed.
Wuesthoff Health System evacuated its Rockledge facility Wednesday. Operations at Wuesthoff Medical Center-Melbourne are continuing and there are no plans to evacuate the hospital at this time. But appointments for elective surgeries, imaging and outpatient therapies have been canceled.
3:45 p.m.: Volusia County officials are urging barrier island residents and those living in low-lying areas to evacuate.
The county corrected a previous announcement saying that bridges from the mainland to beachside will be locked down at sundown Thursday. Instead, the county said, the Volusia Sheriff's Office will coordinate with cities on bridge closures.
Votran bus stops will become evacuation collection sites at 8 a.m. Thursday, where evacuees can board a bus to be taken to a transfer point and then on a school bus to a shelter. No fares will be charged for the evacuation or return. Votran Gold passengers should be prepared to cancel any non-essential trips scheduled for Thursday and Friday. All Votran vehicles will not operate if winds are sustained at 35 mph.
2 p.m.: Flagler Beach is issuing a mandatory evacuation for the barrier island and areas near the intracostal waterway.
The areas that need to be evacuated are as follows: Evacuation Zone A which is everything east of the Intracoastal including Marineland, Hammock, Flagler Beach along A1A; and, portions of Zone B if you live east of Old Kings Road and front on a tidal (saltwater) canal or the Intracoastal waterway; or if you live in a modular or mobile home in this area. In addition the entire Woodlands, Hidden Lakes and the Toscana subdivisions due to the close proximity to Graham Swamp.
Officials are asking that anyone who lives adjacent to the Intracoastal or one of the connecting canals should also evacuate.
1:30 p.m.: Tolls have been suspended on roads in counties where there are evacuations, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and transportation officials announced.
"Protecting life and moving people to safety remains our top priority and today I directed the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls as needed to keep traffic flowing. If there is an evacuation order in a county, all tolls will be suspended in that county," Scott said in a news release.
Scott also activated 500 National Guard members across the state to assist with emergency efforts.
As of 11 p.m. ET Wednesday, Matthew was at 23.4N, 76.4W. That is:
- 461 miles SE of Orlando
- 492 miles SE of Daytona Beach
- 432 miles SE of Cape Canaveral
- 419 miles SE of Melbourne
- 557 miles SE of Jacksonville
- 324 miles SE of West Palm Beach
- 301 miles SE of Fort Lauderdale
- 349 miles ESE of Key West
A hurricane warning is in effect for:
- Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island
- Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island
- Northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence
- North of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach
- Lake Okeechobee
- Central Florida counties of Brevard, Orange, Volusia, Flagler, Osceola and Seminole
A hurricane watch is in effect for:
- North of Fernandina Beach to Edisto Beach, South Carolina
A tropical storm warning is in effect for:
- Chokoloskee to Golden Beach
- Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward
- Florida Bay
- Central Florida counties of Lake, Marion, Sumter and Polk
A tropical storm watch is in effect for:
- North of Chokoloskee to Suwannee River