''Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate,'' says Florida Governor Rick Scott as millions flee the U.S. Southeast to escape the potential impact Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (No reporter narration) STORY: Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, slammed into the Bahamas early on Thursday and intensified as it barreled toward the southeastern U.S. coast where millions of residents heeded warnings to flee inland. Roadways in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina were jammed and gas stations and food stores ran out of supplies as the storm approached, bringing storm surges, heavy rain and sustained winds that accelerated overnight to about 125 miles (205 km) per hour. Matthew, which killed at least 39 people and displaced thousands, mostly in southern Haiti, was predicted to strengthen from a Category 3 to 4 storm en route to Florida's Atlantic coast. Landfall was expected there on Thursday night, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The center extended its hurricane warning area farther north into Georgia and more than 12 million U.S. residents were under a hurricane watches and warnings, according to the Weather Channel. "Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate... this will kill you," Florida Governor Scott warned residents in the evacuation zones at a news conference in on Thursday. The four states in the path of the hurricane, which was 215 miles (346 km) southeast of West Palm Beach at about 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT), declared states of emergency enabling their governors to mobilize the National Guard. Shelters in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina opened their doors after authorities, along with President Barack Obama, urged people to evacuate their homes.