Flooding Hits Jacksonville as Hurricane Matthew Nears

Storm surge has caused coastal flooding in Jacksonville.

— -- Hurricane Matthew has brought massive flooding to Jacksonville, Florida, as it moves up the U.S. coast.

Extremely dangerous storm surge has begun to inundate Jacksonville with serious coastal flooding this afternoon. Jacksonville International Airport reported a wind gust of 64 mph.

The flooding is expected to get worse today in Florida's most populous city.

The city has not been hit by a major hurricane in over a century, and if Hurricane Matthew does make direct landfall in Jacksonville, "it will be unlike any hurricane in the modern area," according to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, which also warned residents that "catastrophic damage" is anticipated for coastal areas and areas along the St. John's River.

The NWS added that a major hurricane has not impacted the area since Oct. 2, 1898, and "there is no local living memory of the potential of this event."

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry issued an expanded evacuation order on Thursday, adding parts of the city along the St. John's River and other waterways. Five shelters have been opened in Jacksonville where residents can hunker down and wait out the storm, according to the city's website.

At a 9 a.m. press conference this morning, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he is very concerned about the dangerous storm surge that could affect Jacksonville.

Even President Barack Obama expressed his concerns for the people of Jacksonville when he addressed Hurricane Matthew this morning, saying "the big concern that people are having right now is the effects that it could have in areas like Jacksonville on through Georgia."

“This is a storm that we and our children will talk about for generations," Angie Enyedi, the NWS incident meteorologist in Jacksonville, said in a statement yesterday.