If you’re up late with the storm, you might need a few updates. (LATEST UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF POST)
The National Weather Service downgraded Matthew from a Category 4 to 3. The storm also pushed slightly east for a few hours, but this is by no means a reprieve. It currently has sustained winds of 120 mph, with higher gusts, and the storm surge will likely prove devastating. Record waves are already being recorded, and there are still a few hours before the worst of the storm actually hits.
The difference in storm categories:
— Slice Wrestling (@EntSlice) October 7, 2016
The storm is bearing down hard on Jacksonville, Florida, where according to The Weather Channel, the “eyewall may deliver the strongest, most destructive winds anyone in parts of the northeast and east-central Florida coast has seen in their lifetime.”
In Melbourne, Florida, all emergency services have been suspended. Brevard County has suspended all emergency services as well. To quote CNN, those who have not evacuated were told “you’re on your own.” They have been under sustained tropical storm force winds for hours.
The footage here shows what it’s like right now, with the storm still at sea. The Brevard County Emergency Management office rep explains the situation.
All sorts of services are breaking down or being shut down. Sewer and water have been suspended. Trees and power lines are down. Transformers are blowing across the state, leaving tens, up to hundreds of thousands without power. You can see some of them going in this periscope report from Cape Canaveral, which is still ahead of the storm.
— Jeff Piotrowski (@Jeff_Piotrowski) October 7, 2016
A 17-foot wave was recorded off the coast of Cape Canaveral, with the storm still 80 miles to the south.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 7, 2016
At 2:45 in the morning, forecasters are still predicting that damage in northern Florida, southern Georgia, and even South Carolina, could be the most devastating storm damage in a century, with power outages possibly lasting several weeks.
CNN reports that as many as 300,000 customers are without power at this time. Hopefully those are mostly empty houses that people evacuated during the day Thursday.
The devastation in Haiti is shocking and warrants a separate article. Read more about it here.
We will add another update below some time between 4 and 5 a.m. One thing to think about: there is a dearth of video and photos from Florida’s hardest hit areas tonight. Evacuations yes, but also power outages and service interruptions. The eerie quiet of a disaster you can’t watch live on social media is a new part of our lives, but disquieting nonetheless.
To all members of our RedState community, all our readers, and everyone else in the path of this beast, we’re praying for you, and we hope to see you tomorrow. Check in with us in the comments.
UPDATE: 5:10 a.m – Eyewall about to hit Canaveral. 270,000 without power. It’s getting real nasty in Florida, and in about 40 miles, sometime in the next hour or two, the western eyewall will make landfall.
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) October 7, 2016
— Lindsay MilbourneFOX (@weatherlindsay) October 7, 2016