Cayman Airways has suspended flights to Miami as Hurricane Matthew begins to bring heavy winds and rain to Florida. The Miami International Airport has suspended all service during the storm.
President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida.
According to the Miami Herald, the state of emergency means that: “Federal agencies will now be authorized to coordinate disaster relief efforts and use federal aid to assist state and local governments in dealing with the storm. The emergency designation applies to 28 counties all along Florida’s coast, from Monroe in the Florida Keys to Nassau along the Georgia border.”
The airport in Fort Lauderdale is already closed and Orlando’s airport will close at 8 p.m., according to local authorities.
The British Airways flight to London via Nassau in the Bahamas has also been canceled.
The Category 4 storm Thursday morning had sustained winds of 140 mph as it passed over the Bahamas. All of Florida and up to South Carolina is under a Hurricane Warning, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The Miami-based Hurricane Center expects damaging winds and as much as 10 inches of rain along Florida’s east coast as the storm moves north.
As of 2 p.m., Matthew’s eye was 65 miles from Freeport, Bahamas and 125 miles southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida.