The Latest: Tracking Hurricane Matthew

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

11 p.m. Thursday

Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 with 130 mph winds, is now right off the coast of Florida and set to make landfall Friday.

A hurricane warning is in effect up the Georgia and South Carolina coasts, lessening slightly to a tropical storm warning for southern North Carolina.

Matthew is still predicted to turn eastward and circle back around toward Florida for a second time.

Beaufort County officials said Thursday the main concerns in the area at this point are heavy rains and flash flooding. Emergency crews are also concerned about the risk of downed trees due to wet soil.

National Weather Service reports show eastern North Carolina could see up to 10 inches of rain, along with storm surges.

Hyde County continued its mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke Island visitors all day Thursday, although it suspended the evacuation of residents and property owners late Wednesday.

The state Ferry Division said the ferry schedule will remain much the same as long as conditions remain safe. A modified schedule was put into effect for the Hatteras-Ocracoke route.


5 p.m. Thursday

Hurricane Matthew continues along its odd path, moving up the East Coast, then circling back around toward Florida early next week.

With maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, Matthew is again a Category 4 hurricane.

Beaufort County officials are shifting their focus to rising water levels and flooding in the area over the weekend. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory from the early-morning hours of Saturday through Sunday afternoon.

There is still a chance for Beaufort County to experience tropical storm-force winds, and officials are estimating 30-40 mph winds through the weekend.


2 p.m. Thursday

Beaufort County Emergency Management is preparing for heavy rains and flooding in the area.

According to officials, if Hurricane Matthew stays on its current track just below North Carolina, Beaufort County can expect to see anywhere from 4-10 inches of rain, as well as potential storm surges of 2-5 feet.

The Category 4 storm is not set to hit the Carolinas until Sunday, but rain is likely to begin Saturday.

Emergency officials remain skeptical of the storm’s path, as there is a chance it could change course.


12 p.m. Thursday

Hurricane Matthew has forecasters scratching their heads with an odd track.

Current predictions show the now Category 4 storm turning almost in a full circle and heading back toward Florida next week as a tropical storm.

Matthew continues to move northwest at 14 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. The storm is set to hit Florida’s coast Thursday evening and continue up the East Coast to the southern tip of North Carolina before turning east.

Emergency officials say the exact track is still uncertain and are continuing to prepare for at least heavy rains in Beaufort County.


11 p.m. Wednesday

Hurricane Matthew has slowed slightly, but remains a Category 3 hurricane traveling northwest toward Florida.

Millions of Floridians are bracing for up to 10 inches of rain and winds at more than 110 mph. Hurricane watches and warnings have now extended to the coast of South Carolina.

The latest prediction from the National Weather Service shows eastern North Carolina logging around 2-4 inches of rain as Matthew, expected to weaken to a Category 1 or 2, passes through on Saturday.

However, conditions are not set in stone, and Beaufort County officials are watching for any changes in the storm’s track.

“There is still a great deal of uncertainty in the forecast models, and we remain prepared to respond if Matthew changes course again,” Gov. McCrory stated. “If the storm continues on its current track, we stand by ready to provide assistance, including swift water rescue boats and air support, for our neighbors in South Carolina and Georgia as needed.”


8 p.m. Wednesday

The latest National Weather Service forecasts show Hurricane Matthew taking a sharp turn eastward before it hits eastern North Carolina.

Matthew continued to make its way through the Bahamas all day Wednesday, as Florida braces for the incoming Category 3 storm.

The hurricane is moving northwest at 12 mph and has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.

Hurricane warnings and watches now extend up the coast of Georgia, while the North Carolina coast remains under a hazardous weather outlook advisory.

As of Wednesday evening, Hyde County officials suspended the mandatory evacuation for Ocracoke Island visitors and residents. Ferries will operate as usual on Thursday, but the state Ferry Division is planning to suspend operations on Friday.


4 p.m. Wednesday

At a noon conference call, John Pack, Beaufort County’s emergency-services director, said the hurricane could still shift back and forth, quoting a forecaster as saying the confidence level is low.

“Even with the current track, we can expect 2 to 5 inches of rain. As we all know, as wet as the ground is, 2 to 5 inches of rain could result in us doing some of the same things we did two weeks ago here in the city of Washington, Belhaven and some other places,” Pack said.

Beaufort County remains under a coastal flood advisory through the weekend. Heavy rains could arrive Friday, ahead of the storm’s winds.


11 a.m. Wednesday

Forecasts continue to shift in favor of eastern North Carolina, as Hurricane Matthew is predicted to shift offshore over the weekend.

According to the most recent forecast, this area only has about a 30-percent chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds (greater than 39 mph).

Matthew has also weakened to a Category 3 storm as of Wednesday morning.


8 a.m. Wednesday

Hurricane Matthew is expected to turn east, according to the latest forecasts.

The storm will make its way through the Bahamas today, moving north-northwest at 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds were at 115 mph as of 8 a.m.

The eye of the storm is now expected to shift offshore, despite early predictions placing it over eastern North Carolina. Forecasts show this area facing the outer layers of the storm.

Matthew continues to shift, and Beaufort County officials remain on watch for the incoming storm.

The National Weather Service has placed the county under a hazardous weather outlook advisory, and small craft advisories remain in effect along the coast.