Whirling Winds

Hurricane Matthew tramples east coast


Starting as a tropical cyclone in the islands of and around Haiti and the Bahamas, Hurricane Matthew has strengthened to a category 3 hurricane. On September 28, Matthew became a nightmare.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a category 3 hurricane wind speeds are anywhere from 111-129 mph. In the last couple of days, Matthew has clutched over 300 lives — four which have been in Florida. President Barack Obama signed a state of emergency in the State of Florida, the Carolinas and in Georgia. He ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions beginning on October 3, 2016. The National Guard will set foot in these states, hoping to relieve those who bare down during the storms.

It has been reported that coastal damage is severe, and inland flooding is at high risk. Matthew is expected to rotate inland, north toward Wilmington, North Carolina, and weaken back east toward the Atlantic. As the eye of the storm has not yet hit, the categorization of the hurricane is subject to change.

Wind surges from category 5 Hugo in 1989 will be compared to Matthew. Only 61 fatalities were reported in ‘89 — hundreds have passed just this week. The winds can be avoided, but the water is the main concern. As it is still early, Charleston, and Savannah have a long wait ahead of them.

As families were asked to head inland, Matthew may just beat them to the punch. While people move at a steady pace of 5 mph, severe thunderstorms will brew in the midwest and along the west coast as well. Keeping updated with this now category 3 hurricane will be difficult, but radars are keeping track and staying accurate.