Which Cities Will Hurricane Matthew Hit? The East Coast Is Home To Huge Populations

With all the damage wrought by Hurricane Matthew, thus far, it has avoided a direct hit on the biggest cities of Haiti or Cuba. But even so, the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince saw streets full with rain. Now that the storm is headed toward the U.S., potentially making land as a Category 4, there is concern, especially in heavily populated areas. So which cities will Hurricane Matthew hit? The storm is moving up the East Coast, so there are a number of population centers, starting as far south as Miami, that could be affected.

Some 36 percent of the country's population is centered along the Eastern Seaboard, so we are talking about some 112,000,000 people. But luckily, it's just the Southeast that needs to worry. The main states that are likely to be affected are Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. There, evacuations have already begun, and various preparations are underway.

There was some concern that the storm would make it up to the New York City area, but the National Weather Service has all but ruled that out. It looks that it's now on track to stay south of Virginia — at least, over land. That doesn't mean there aren't people in New York City affected by the storm. Some Carnival Cruise passengers were rerouted to NYC after their travel to the Bahamas was cancelled. These are the main cities that are currently in the storm's path.

Miami, Florida

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency, and Miami-Dade schools will be closed Thursday and Friday as a better-safe-than-sorry measure. The hurricane warning starts just north of Miami in Golden Beach and continues north, more than halfway to Orlando.

Jacksonville, Florida

A hurricane watch was issued for Jacksonville and most of Northern Florida, The Florida Times Union reported. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry will also declare a state of emergency Thursday afternoon. Evacuation orders are limited, but Gov. Scott said Wednesday, "If you're able to go early, leave now."

Savannah, Georgia

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal declared the state of emergency Tuesday. So far, no evacuation order has been made, but that could change at any time, the governor's office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The storm is expected to hit here Friday.

Charleston, South Carolina

Gov. Nikki Haley also declared a state of emergency Tuesday, and the evacuation of coastal areas is to begin Wednesday afternoon. The state is set to evacuate about a quarter of its population, just more than one million people.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The same applies in Myrtle Beach. Haley asked that residents take the orders seriously. "We don’t do voluntary and mandatory anymore. An evacuation is an evacuation," she said.

Wilmington, North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is also preparing for the storm to hit over the weekend. The main fears are winds and coastal flooding. There evacuation orders in place, too. "We are doing everything we can to prepare for Hurricane Matthew and ensure the safety of our citizens and visitors," McCrory told a local news channel.

If you're in one of these cities, now is the time to get out early. You heard the governors. Find specific evacuation orders for your area and make it to safety.