Hurricane Matthew indirectly impacting western Massachusetts

Matthew Gains Strength
Hurricane Matthew is strengthening as it moves across the Atlantic toward Florida. The storm is once again a Category Four hurricane with winds clocking in at 125 miles per hour.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – It didn’t make landfall yet, and already, Hurricane Matthew is having an effect on western Massachusetts residents.

Matthew is swirling just off the Florida coast. Hurricane Matthew is still 1,500 miles away from us. But it’s already having an impact.

As people down south prepare for the worst, all South Hadley resident and mother, Sue Duda can do is watch. Duda says she is glued to the news and weather. Her daughter lives in Charleston, South Carolina and was forced to evacuate.

“She evacuated Wednesday evening. They were told to go about 100 miles inland. They went about 200 miles inland so she is in North Carolina. I just fear that the house she lives in in Charleston might be flooded. She might not have a house to go back to,” said Duda.

She’s not the only one concerned. Western New England University Professor and Longmeadow resident Brenda Garton-Sjoberg owns a condo in Florida and is scheduled to board a flight bound for Fort Myers.

“My in-laws have been stocking up on some extra groceries in case there are none available when we get there. I’ve been seeing a lot of the grocery store and gas station and transportation issues. Hopefully we are just out of range,” said Garton-Sjoberg.

And then there’s South Hadley resident Carole Malek, whose flight out of Orlando was canceled. She was forced to get a hotel and ride out the storm.

“As we we’re going to breakfast this morning, the staff was starting to pull tables in and deck chairs. There is a light rain falling now. Ironically people are still trying to enjoy their vacation so there are people outside swimming in the pool in the rain,” said Malek.

Hurricane Matthew won’t affect us in western Massachusetts directly. No rain. No wind. The indirect effects span the country.