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 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.
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.