Southeastern Florida was under hurricane and tropical storm warnings on Wednesday as the eye of powerful Hurricane Matthew moved off of the northeastern coast of Cuba, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.
Hurricane Matthew was about 20 miles (30 km) northwest of the eastern tip of Cuba with winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kph), the centre said.
The storm was expected to turn toward the north-northwest during the day, followed by a northwest turn on Wednesday night, the hurricane centre said.
The current threat to life and property was high, the National Weather Service warned, predicting tropical storm- force winds of up to 70 mph (115 kph) and 4 inches (10 cm) of rain for parts of the area.
"Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life," the service said in an advisory.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)