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.”Forecasters say the first outer rain bands from Hurricane Matthew have already begun to approach Florida as the big storm crosses the Bahamas toward the state.
In Orlando Disney World made the decision to shut its gates with SeaWorld and Universal Orlando already announcing their decisions to close until the hurricane has passed.
Banks, shops and businesses have closed down in many areas of the state, with American chainstore Walmart announcing it would shut its doors at 3pm local time.
There are further complications that the hurricane may bring with The Atlantic reporting Hurricane Matthew could further complicate efforts to stop the spread of Zika.
Florida remains the only state in the U.S. where Zika has been transmitted locally.
Governor Scott said Florida would see its biggest evacuation ever.
"This thing is getting close to our coast, you better be ready before. If it turns at the last minute, you're not going to have time to get ready. You're not going to be able to get your food and water."
"You're not going to be able to evacuate. You're going to put you and your family's life at risk."
Fox News reports that in one home in Fort Lauderdale, six employees at a seven-bedroom mansion packed up for the evacuation.
The homeowners had already moved to another home they elsewhere.
The employees had managed to fit the two Lamborghinis and a Ferrari inside the garage, but employee Mae White wasn't sure what they would do with a Rolls Royce, Mustang and other cars still parked in the driveway.
"This storm surge. It's scary," White said. "You're on the water, you've got to go."
The New York Times reports that the storm is having an impact on the presidential campaign too. A joint appearance by Hillary Clinton and President Obama planned for Wednesday in Miami Gardens was postponed.
While The Miami Herald reported that Ivanka Trump scrapped a fund-raiser Wednesday night at Trump National Doral golf resort.
In Georgia, also in the path of the storm the Governor Nathan ordered a mandatory evacuation of his state's entire coast, covering more than a half-million people. The Georgia coast hasn't seen a hurricane evacuation since 1999.
The storm has already left a trail of destruction through Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.
In Haiti, 98 people have lost their lives with the south-western town of Jeremie was "pretty much wiped out from the seaboard all the way to the cathedral" the BBC reports.
One official for aid agency Oxfam told the BBC that more than 10,000 people had been displaced in the south alone.
Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses in Haiti can be made online at oxfam.org.au/icf and by calling 1800 034 034.