Hurricane Matthew is headed for Florida's eastern coast, and it's being called the strongest hurricane to hit the state in decades.
The hurricane – which has already killed at least 140 people, including 136 in Haiti – was hammering the Bahamas Thursday morning, Reuters reports, and is expected to reach east-central Florida by Thursday night, the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida, says.
Matthew has intensified to a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds ranging from 130-156 mph. These deadly winds, along with strong storm surges and high surf, are expected to impact 550-mile stretch from Miami to South Carolina, USA Today says.
'This storm will kill you'
Florida and South Carolina have ordered mandatory evacuations ahead of the "extremely dangerous" storm. Florida's Gov. Rick Scott warned Thursday morning that if people haven't evacuated yet, they should because "this storm will kill you."
The National Weather Service also didn't downplay how "extremely dangerous" and "life-threatening" the storm could be in its update Thursday morning, writing:
"Widespread extensive to devastating wind impacts will be felt. Airborne debris lofted by extreme winds will be capable of breaching structures, unprotected windows and vehicles. Effects such as these ranging from the coast to well inland have not been experienced in central Florida in decades."
"Local winds will exceed what occurred during the hurricanes of 2004. Any evacuations and structure preparation should be completed by this afternoon. Travel will be strongly discouraged beginning at dusk. Expect widespread power outages."
For the latest on Hurricane Matthew, including updated rainfall estimates, wind gusts and more, visit the National Hurricane Center's website here.