Residents of the southeast coast are preparing for the worst in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, expected to make landfall later today. A state of emergency has already been declared for Florida, Georgia the Carolinas. Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced in a Tuesday press conference that a complete evacuation of the state's coastline will begin today. Additionally, all schools and government offices in cleared counties will be closed as well, according to The Weather Channel.

What damage will Hurricane Matthew bring?
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has also declared a state of emergency for 66 counties in central and eastern parts of the state. The National Guard has been activated in parts of Florida and evacuations are pending. Significant coastal flooding and high winds are expected in each region.

"It might be wise to heed the evacuation warnings."

"Matthew could pass near or just off the Southeast coast late this week into the weekend. Even if the center of the hurricane does stay offshore, we would still have the potential for coastal flooding, beach erosion, battering surf, rain and gusty winds," Chris Dolce, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, explained. "The magnitude of any of those impacts will depend on Matthew's track and intensity at that time."

The National Hurricane Center has released a possible hurricane impact timeline for parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas:

  • Florida Peninsula (mostly eastern areas): Thursday to Friday, possibly lingering into early Saturday in the northeast region.
  • Southeast Georgia: Friday to Saturday.
  • Eastern Carolinas: Late Friday to Saturday, possibly continuing into early Sunday.

Should I evacuate?
As each state is taking this threat very seriously, it is likely that many residents will be evacuating to stay safe during the storm. There is a potential for either tropical-storm force winds of 38 miles per hour or more, or hurricane-force winds of more than 74 mph, depending on the severity of the storm and if it makes landfall.

The Weather Channel also warns that there will likely be serious flooding and possible tornadoes. The heaviest rainfalls are expected to total five to 12 inches. As a result, residents must be extremely cautious about staying or leaving the area. If you are able to do so safety and live in a low-lying area, it might be wise to heed the evacuation warnings. If not, and you are fully stocked and have impact-resistant windows and doors, consider taking additional precautions if you plan to remain in your home.

No matter what else Florida weather throws at you this hurricane season, impact windows will remain intact and keep your home free from damage. Contact a NewSouth Window Solutions expert today to schedule a free, in-home consultation about how hurricane windows might be just what you need this season.

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