Hurricane Matthew ripped through rural Haiti this week, claiming at least 842 lives and leaving millions of Americans living along the southern Atlantic Coast scrambling to escape its path.
“I want to emphasize to the public that this is a serious storm,” President Barack Obama warned Wednesday as the hurricane barreled north. The White House announced a state of emergency for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, prompting mass evacuations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is working on the ground in all four states to assist those affected.
The U.S. saw its first storm-related death on Friday morning in St. Lucie County, Florida, where a woman suffered a cardiac arrest. Hurricane Matthew has already cut power to some 827,000 homes across the state. More than 22,000 people are seeking refuge in shelters, and traffic tolls have been suspended to enable easy movement, according to a Florida state press release.
Although damage reported in the U.S. has been relatively minimal so far, officials warn the storm could strengthen or surge as it continues up the coast. It is expected to reach Georgia on Friday night and South Carolina by Saturday morning.
Take a look at the damage Hurricane Matthew has caused in the U.S. so far.
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