While Hurricane Matthew hasn’t been as catastrophic so far as feared – sparing many heavily populated portions of Florida’s shoreline heavy damage – the state’s governor is warning that the danger is far from over.
“It still has time to do a direct hit,” Gov. Rick Scott said this morning, according to CBS news. “This is not over. ... It could be the worst part of this is yet to come.”
Nearly 2 million homes in the path of Hurricane Matthew are at risk of storm damage, according to CoreLogic.
The hurricane – said to be the most severe Florida has faced in years – hit the east coast of Florida today. The storm, which has already killed as many as 500 people in Haiti, is expected to move up the coast of Florida and into Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. It has the potential to cause about $200 billion in damage to real estate in those states, according to a Daily Real Estate News report.
The damage could be even worse; CoreLogic’s estimates contemplate potential damage from storm-surge flooding. They don’t take into account potential damage from wind and rain, according to Daily Real Estate News.
As of this writing, the storm is a Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds up to 120 miles per hour. So far, the storm’s center has stayed offshore, sparing Floridians the worst of the winds – but forecasters have predicted storm surges of up to 11 feet, and the National Weather Service issued a warning Friday that the storm could leave some areas “uninhabitable for weeks or months.”
About two million people in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas were warned to leave their homes ahead of the hurricane, CBS news reported. In Jacksonville, 500,000 people were warned to evacuate.
“If you do not leave, you will be on your own,” Mayor Lenny Curry said.
The storm has already claimed one life in the U.S., a woman in Florida’s St. Lucie County who suffered a cardiac arrest. Emergency services personnel were unable to reach her in time due to the storm, according to an ABC News report.