Hurricane Matthew pounds Nassau, Bahamas
The head of the Bahamas National Emergency Management Authority says the capital Nassau is now receiving the full brunt of Hurricane Matthew.
Captain Stephen Russell says there are many downed trees and power lines but no immediate reports of significant flooding or casualties as of early Thursday. Russell says Nassau should feel the full effects of Matthew for much of the day.
"We are experiencing the brunt of the hurricane force winds now so we just have to wait and see how we fare over the next five of six hours," he told The Associated Press.
Nassau is on the most populous island of New Providence in the central Bahamas. The streets were deserted as palm fronds flew through the air under heavy rain. Those in Nassau without generators are without power because authorities shut down the power when winds reach 40 mph to protect the grid. The major tourist hotels are on generator power.
The storm is now clear of the lightly populated islands of the southern Bahamas and Russell says there are no reports of any significant damage or casualties on those islands.