When Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey in 2012, the state saw storm surges over 7.9 feet. The U.S. National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Florida is expecting storm surges higher than that throughout the First Coast and the Southeastern Georgia coast from Hurricane Matthew in the worst possible scenario.
The NWS released the below presentation, outlining the current situation for the First Coast, where the storm is expected to hit Friday with “catastrophic impacts” along the coast.
According to the NWS, this will be the first major hurricane to strike the area since October 2, 1898. “If a direct landfall occurs, this will be unlike any hurricane in the modern era,” the presentation notes.
“Please, please heed the advice of public and emergency management officials. 40 people in New York and New Jersey did not heed these warning[s] during Sandy and died in the storm surge,” the NWS notes.
“This is a storm that we and our children will talk about for generations,” Angie Enyedi of the NWS said in a statement during a press conference in Jacksonville.
The NOAA defines a storm surge as “an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tide.” They are typically caused by strong winds during a hurricane or a tropical storm and Matthew fits that bill. It is currently at Category 4 with winds reaching 140 mph, according to Weather.com.
Most of the counties that make up the First Coast are under at least partial evacuation orders. This includes St. Johns, Clay, Nassau, Flagler and Duval counties. Camden and Glynn Counties in Georgia also have voluntary evacuation orders. You can find a complete list of shelters in each county here at First Coast News.
See the full presentation below.
For information on evacuation zones, click here: