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Southeast Battens Down Hatches Ahead of Hurricane Matthew

People along the southeast U.S. coast fled inland, stocked up on groceries and queued for gasoline ahead of Hurricane Matthew.

People walk along the beach prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Miami Beach, Florida, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.

Up to 1.5 million people were fleeing south Atlantic coastal areas as Hurricane Matthew regained strength as a Category 4 storm Thursday and eyed the United States.

JAVIER GALEANO / Reuters

Jennifer Miller and her daughter Jubilee rest on the floor of a shelter Thursday at the Timberlin Creek Elementary School in St. Augustine, Florida. 

Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images
Homeowner Don Appell prepares to board up one of the windows at his home Thursday ahead of Hurricane Matthew in Cherry Grove, South Carolina. Chris Keane / Reuters
Ted Houston and his dog Kermit visit the beach as Hurricane Matthew approaches the area Thursday in Palm Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Bumper-to-bumper traffic heads out of Brevard County, Florida, on Thursday. Two million people across the Southeast were warned to flee inland as Hurricane Matthew steamed toward heavily populated Florida with terrifying winds of 140 mph. 

Red Huber / Orlando Sentinel via AP
A woman walks her dog on the beach Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida. JEWEL SAMAD / AFP - Getty Images

Kevin Forde, left, and John Haughey put up plywood on a window Thursday in Miami Beach.

Evacuations were under way in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina after Matthew, which hammered Haiti and strafed Cuba, began battering the Bahamas. 

Joe Raedle / Getty Images
A employee at the BiLo grocery store moves shopping carts into the store during storm preparations Thursday in Darien, Georgia. The hurricane picked up steam as it closed in, growing from a Category 3 to a Category 4 storm by late morning. Stephen B. Morton / AP
A kite boarder catches some air Thursday in winds and waves generated by Hurricane Matthew in Delray Beach, Florida. Wilfredo Lee / AP
Waves from the approaching Hurricane Matthew churn underneath the pier in Cocoa Beach, Florida, on Thursday. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Rod Smith, right, hugs his wife Karen as they watch the churning surf Thursday on Satellite Beach, Florida.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Ralph Brower removes the beach front volleyball nets from the Windjammer on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, on Wednesday, in advance of Hurricane Matthew.

Matthew pummeled the Bahamas and took aim at the United States as the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, appearing likely to hit Florida with powerful winds, storm surges and heavy rain on Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Grace Beahm / The Post And Courier via AP
Workers from Armstrong Construction put plywood over the windows of a home Wednesday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Will Dickey / Florida Times-Union via AP

Clouds begin to form near downtown Miami on Wednesday.

CARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters

Rene Anger fills and stacks sandbags in front of her Cherry Street home in Neptune Beach, Florida on Wednesday.

Bruce Lipsky / Florida Times-Union via AP

People line up to fill their propane tanks in Coral Springs, Florida, on Wednesday.

HENRY ROMERO / Reuters
Jay McAbee, a bus driver with the Greenville, South Carolina school district, waits at his bus in North Charleston for word to start evacuating people to Greenville on Wednesday. Officials moved approximately 250 school buses to the Charleston area to help with the evacuation. Mic Smith / AP

Messages are written on a boarded-up IHOP restaurant on Cocoa Beach, Florida, on Wednesday.

RHONA WISE / AFP - Getty Images

James Balboni prepares for Hurricane Matthew on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

Rob Foldy / Getty Images

Three men remove furniture at a beachfront home in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew in Garden City Beach, South Carolina, on Tuesday night.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew Lashes the Caribbean

RANDALL HILL / Reuters