Carolinas prep for Hurricane Matthew

Both North Carolina and South Carolina prepare for Hurricane Matthew.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolinas are on alert as Category 4 Hurricane Matthew moves north.

Packing 130 mph winds, Matthew is the most powerful Atlantic storm in more than a decade, and officials are not taking any chances.

"Have food, water, medicine, that sort of thing," York emergency management director Chuck Haynes said Monday. "More than likely the impact we would see would be supporting the coast, if they have to evacuate they would have to come west."

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has opened their emergency operations center to track the storm.

It was all quiet Monday night in Myrtle Beach, but Carolina beaches may look a lot different come Friday and Saturday.  Public Safety workers in Folly Beach want everyone bracing for the worst just in case.

"When they feel like there is a significant risk, they'll definitely be putting that word out to everybody," said Andrew Gilreath.

Hurricane Matthew's track shifted west Monday, leading to Governor Pat McCrory's declaration for a State of Emergency for 66 counties in North Carolina.

"We're concerned about flooding because of the saturation and our rivers right now are very high because of the rain the last two weeks," McCrory said. "If it comes, we want to be prepared as early as possible."

The folks at Blackhawk Hardware in Charlotte say there are ways to secure your home. For the hurricane force winds, don't leave anything loose outside.

"They're projectiles and they will do more damage to a home or person than just standing out there by yourself," said Christopher Snodgrass.

For potential flooding, load up on sand bags.

"Right up against the door," Snodgrass said. "Maybe wrap them up in some plastic, to try to make as much of a barrier as you can."

Still, we're four or five days away from feeling any impacts in the Carolinas, and forecasters know how drastically a track can shift in that amount of time.

"It could shift further west, which you'd think is a bad thing but that means it would interact with Florida and other land masses which could weaken it," said Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich. "But it also could shift further east and be completely off shore. All of those are still in the cards."

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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