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Anticipation for Hurricane Matthew grows in Nassau, Bahamas

Hurricane expected to hit Thursday morning
Posted: 1:46 PM, Oct 05, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-06 07:31:01Z
Nassau bracing for Hurricane Matthew

UPDATE: There is an anxiousness across Nassau. The capital city hasn’t had a hurricane like Matthew since 1929. Bahamians filled up sandbags at the last minute Wednesday.

Both locals and visitors hope staying calm makes the situation easier. 
 
“You never think about this, that the week you come here there will be a hurricane,” said Sheharyar Memon, a visitor from Tampa. “You hope for the best in life and this is like the worst case scenario.”
 
Memon and his girlfriend are among the hundreds of guests at Atlantis Resort moving into a shelter in the ballroom as Hurricane Matthew approaches.
 
“Hopefully the time passes by quickly. Nobody is sure right now how long it will take, or how long we’ll be in there,” explained Memon’s girlfriend Maliha Shakil.
 
Just about everyone in the country is bunkered down at their house, their family’s house, or in a shelter. There’s nothing left to do but wait for the storm to pass. 

EARLIER STORY:

Anticipation for Hurricane Matthew is growing in Nassau, Bahamas. The storm is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane and take a direct hit on the Bahamian capital Thursday morning.  

Prime Minister Perry Christie spoke on national television Wednesday morning. He said if the forecast is “sobering.” He warned people on the island chain of serious, dangerous, and potentially catastrophic effects.

Airports across the country are closed. Christie said he hopes to keep other services up and running as long as possible. Fire trucks are strategically placed around New Providence to respond to emergencies. About 85 percent of the country’s population lives on New Providence, the home of the country’s capital city, Nassau.

Christie said he anticipates flooding and storm surge to push water levels 10 to 15 feet above normal.

RELATED:  Hurricane Guide   |  Storm Shield & WPTV app   |  Get Storm Shield Alerts   

The country activated its emergency response center Tuesday. Impact teams are standing by ready to go where needed.

Businesses and homes are boarded up with shutters, plywood and sandbags. Several shelters are set up thought the islands, particularly in the southern islands, where Matthew will hit first.

Leaders are asking people living on the coast to move to higher ground inland.

Tropical storm force winds are expected to hit Nassau Wednesday evening.