Caribbean island residents will have to contend with deadly flash floods and mudslides when Hurricane Matthew dumps between 15 to 40 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
Hurricane Matthew — a slow moving storm — is expected to make landfall in Guantanamo Bay Tuesday night though areas will already begin experiencing rain and winds Monday night.
The storm will bring with it a torrential downpour of rain and winds of up to 130 miles-per-hour on islands in the Caribbean Sea — like Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti.
Hurricane Matthew is a Category 4 storm and, according to the National Hurricane Center, that means the storm may cause “catastrophic damage.”
Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage, most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed, power outages will last weeks to possibly months and most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the National Weather Service said Sunday night. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
The storm damage on Haiti may be particularly harsh, as the small island nation is still putting its country back together following the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to move through the Caribbean Sea and up north along the United States. Weather officials have not yet determined if the hurricane will make landfall in the United States or if it will go out to sea.