- Screenshot via Fox News
Fox News anchor Shep Smith issued some terrifying proclamations urging people to evacuate before Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Florida on Friday.
“This moves 20 miles to the west, and you and everyone you know are dead – all of you – because you can’t survive it,” he said on his show Thursday afternoon. “It’s not possible unless you’re very, very lucky. And your kids die, too.”
Smith also spoke with a Floridian woman who didn’t want to leave her home. “I’ll ask her why she’s staying, and if she expects us to cover her funeral,” he said before the segment.
While these statements are chilling hyperbole, meteorologists are predicting that Matthew could be one of the biggest hurricanes to hit Florida in decades.
President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in Florida and South Carolina so prepare federal and state aid. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida ordered everyone on the state’s east coast to evacuate – roughly 1.5 million people. The governors of Georgia and South Carolina have issued similar warnings and are readying aid at the local level.
Matthew is expected to be a Category 4 or 5 storm (the highest there is) once it reaches Florida on Friday morning. Maximum wind speeds Thursday night were 130 miles per hour as the hurricane barreled through the Bahamas.
The storm struck Haiti on Tuesday, and the death toll had risen above 280 by Thursday. Aid workers there are still recovering bodies, and the official count is likely to rise.
Earlier on Thursday, hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross said Matthew was “like no storm in the record books.”
“We are concerned about reports of people deciding to stay in areas under mandatory evacuation orders,” he said on the Weather Channel. “This is a mistake. This is not hype. This is not hyperbole, and I am not kidding. I cannot overstate the danger of this storm.”
Watch Shep Smith’s ominous warning below:
— George Montgomery (@geomontgo) October6, 2016