Hurricane Matthew hits Florida, expected to hammer coast all day

Posted at 6:12 AM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 10:59:52-04
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Matthew's howling wind and driving rain pummeled Florida early Friday, starting what's expected to be a ruinous, days-long battering of the Southeast coast.The strongest winds of 120 mph have been just offshore, but Matthew's wrath is still menacing more than 500 miles of coastline.Two million people were warned to flee inland as the most powerful storm to threaten the Atlantic coast in more than a decade charged toward Florida. Matthew left more than 280 dead in its wake across the Caribbean.The number of homes and businesses without power has jumped by the hour as the storm edges closer to the coast. More than 270,000 are in the dark this morning.

In Haiti, the coordinator for the country's interior ministry in the area hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew says at least 283 people are confirmed dead in the country's southwestern zone. But he says he expects the death toll to rise as authorities get access to remote places left isolated by the storm.

Bodies have started to appear as waters recede in some areas two days after Matthew smashed concrete walls, flattened palm trees and tore roofs off homes.