There are scenes of panic in the US the third most populous state prepares to face what could be a once in a generation storm.
More than two million people have evacuated from Florida as Hurricane Matthew swirled towards them with the state’s governor warning, “this storm will kill you”.
The death toll from the hurricane is now 103, with 98 of those deaths coming in Haiti.
Matthew has gathered strength returning to Category 4 strength with the potential to rise to Category 5, the highest level.
No hurricane stronger than a Category 2 has made landfall in the US since Wilma in 2005.
Governor Rick Scott said he expected the storm to cause deaths in Florida, particularly if the 1.5 million coastal residents ordered to evacuate ignored the directive.
“This storm will kill you,” he said. “Time is running out, we don’t have much time left.”
He said that the entire state could be affected.
“I cannot emphasize enough that everyone in our state must prepare now for a direct hit,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said. “Having a plan in place could mean the difference between life and death.”
The National Hurricane Centre upgraded its warnings in the latest advisory. The body says that category 4 hurricanes cause “catastrophic” damage that will rip off roofs and destroy most trees and power poles in an area.
“Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”