What to Know
- Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti Tuesday morning before heading north toward Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida.
- Matthew could be over the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay by Sunday, or it could be moving out to sea.
- This far out, Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell says the most you can do is hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
While there is still a great deal of uncertainty about Hurricane Matthew’s path, people in the D.C. area can prepare for any effects the region may see.
The dangerous Category 4 storm made landfall in Haiti Tuesday morning and then headed north toward Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for South Florida late Tuesday morning.
The storm will likely move along the U.S. coastline throughout the week.
Matthew could be over the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay by Sunday -- or it could be moving out to sea.
This far out, Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell says the most you can do is hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Here’s what you can do now to be ready:
Keep your travel plans flexible
Storm Team 4 meteorologist Chuck Bell says Hurricane Matthew could bring dangerous conditions to a large portion of the Atlantic Coast, from Miami to the Outer Banks. Efforts to protect life and property in those areas need to begin Tuesday, Bell says.
The storm will most likely be very close to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by Thursday evening; just off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, by Friday evening; and approaching land near Wilmington, North Carolina, by Saturday evening. So, if you have plans for a weekend trip to Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas, be prepared to have to cancel. The storm could also lead to canceled flights and unsafe driving conditions.
Check on properties early
In the D.C. area, Matthew is most likely to affect the Eastern Shore in southern Maryland and the lower Chesapeake Bay. The storm could be within 100 miles of Ocean City, Maryland, late Saturday into Sunday. If you have property in the area, Bell says the best time to prepare is before the storm gets that far north. He suggests heading to the area Wednesday or Thursday and returning Friday before Matthew hits.
Clean your gutters and drains to prepare for potentially heavy rain.
Clogged gutters can create a mess and lead to damage if Matthew brings heavy rain. Make sure they’re clean just in case, and work when it’s safe. Also, check your sump pump to prevent flooding.
Move or secure your lawn furniture.
If you're within Matthew's forecast cone, the storm could bring strong winds in addition to rainfall. Move or secure outdoor furniture to prevent costly damage.
Stay with Storm Team4 for updates throughout the week.
Bell says the track and timing of the storm will likely change in the coming days.
Stay with NBC Washington and Storm Team4 for the latest on Hurricane Matthew. Updates will be available at NBCWashington.com and in the NBC Washington app.