Gainesville, GA – October 5, 2016 – Analysis by the Mansfield Supply Team – Hurricane Matthew made its way past Cuba overnight and is making a beeline to the Bahamian islands, with a direct hit being predicted for later today. There is still much uncertainty whether Matthew will make landfall in the United States later this week and into the weekend. Even if the eye does not come ashore, Matthew will still have an extreme impact on the Southeastern U.S. (particularly Florida, eastern Georgia and parts of the Carolinas), causing numerous power outages and flooding. The models have again shifted overnight, and now indicate the storm will curve back out to sea sooner than expected. Even if Matthew makes the easterly turn, Florida is not necessarily out of the woods yet; some models have the storm making a 180 degree turn and barreling back towards the United States.
Matthew is expected to regain category 4 strength once the storm is at its closest point to South Florida (the eye being within 50 miles of the Florida coast). As the storm moves further north into cooler waters, Matthew is expected to drop down to category 1 status by late Sunday. In preparation for the storm, State of Emergencies have been issued for all of Florida and South Carolina. Some counties in Georgia and North Carolina have also declared emergencies. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered an evacuation of several coastal communities in advance of Hurricane Matthew, with an expected 1.1 million residents who could have to evacuate. This includes the closing of schools and government offices in the evacuation zone.
Mansfield continues to top off customers along the impacted zone. Efforts are being expanded to include the entire East Coast, as far north as New Jersey. Carrier capacity continues to be limited; please place orders well in advance of needs to ensure sufficient supply and freight capacity. Mansfield is working with FTL and LTL carriers to ensure consistent carrying capacity throughout the weekend.
Since we are within 48 hours of Matthew having a significant impact on Florida, we are switching over to RED alert for Florida. Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia all remain in ORANGE alert.