As hundreds of thousands of people began an exodus out of coastal towns in Florida and other southeastern Atlantic states as Hurricane Matthew headed toward them, social media has played a big part capturing the drama.
Matthew, which ripped through Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, was expected to hit Florida on Thursday night. In the morning, winds had reached 140 mph, and the storm had been upgraded to a Category 4. For comparison, the devastating Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5.
Online, posters to Twitter shared their fears, information, visuals of the hurricane and offered prayers to the affected.
Early Thursday the hurricane, which already has killed at least 15 people in several #Caribbean countries, was about 60 miles (95 kilometers) southeast of Nassau, Bahamas, and 255 miles (410 kilometers) from West Palm Beach, Florida. The National Hurricane Center isn't saying that Matthew will make landfall in Florida, but that the center of the storm will get "very near" the Atlantic Coast, possibly as a Category 4 hurricane. #Matthew was packing 125 mph (205 kph) winds as the eye neared the northwest Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center said. #hurricanematthew (📷 @longislandgirlbahamas)
About 2 million people from Florida across Georgia to South Carolina were warned to head inland.
After Florida, the hurricane was expected to push its way just off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina before veering off to sea.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.