Fishermen take cover as Hurricane Matthew strikes southern US
Hurricane Matthew has made landfall in Florida and is working its way up the southern coast of the United States, threatening the lives of those who live close by the sea and the livelihoods of those who work on it.
A hurricane warning has been issued for a coastal area stretching from Daytona Beach, Florida to Wilmington, South Carolina, and dangerous weather is predicted for major cities Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina.
Wind gusts as high as 107 miles per hour have been recorded at Cape Canaveral, Florida, prompting a rare NWS "extreme wind warning," according to The Weather Channel. The news site reports the worst weather from the hurricane to affect these areas:
- East-central, northeastern Florida: through Friday night
- Georgia coast: Friday evening through Saturday morning
- South Carolina: Saturday through Saturday evening
- North Carolina (mainly south): Saturday afternoon through early Sunday
The National Weather Service has issued warnings for small craft operating as far north as New Jersey. Check Weather.gov for updates regarding the storm.
In advance of the storm's approach toward South Carolina, the state's shellfish beds were ordered closed by the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) due to Hurricane Matthew.
The shellfish beds were ordered closed at noon on Friday, 7 October. North Carolina and South Carolina were under a hurricane warning on 7 October, and major flooding was expected along the coasts of both states.
“This precautionary action is being taken because of the likelihood of the occurrence of heavy rainfall and storm water runoff as a result of the storm,” DHEC said in a statement.
All oyster, clam and mussel harvest areas will remain closed until evaluated and re-opened by the DHEC, according to Mike Pearson, manager of DHEC’s Shellfish Sanitation Program.
“Individual areas will be opened as soon as conditions are acceptable for the harvest of shellfish,” he said.
For updates on shellfish bed closures, visit DHEC’s website.
This is a breaking news story; SeafoodSource.com will be providing updates as they become available.