(REUTERS) - Video posted on social media by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Hunters purportedly shows the flight crew flying into the eye of Hurricane Matthew.
The first major hurricane threatening a direct hit on the United States in more than 10 years lashed Florida on Friday (October 7) with heavy rains and winds after killing at least 339 people in Haiti on its destructive march north through the Caribbean.
Hurricane Matthew was packing gusts of 70 miles per hour (115 kph) and heavy downpours across coastal communities in Florida as it moved parrallel to and just offshore of the east coast of Florida near Cape Canaveral, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.
About 300,000 Florida households were without power, local media reported. In West Palm Beach, once lit street lights and houses went dark and Interstate 95 was empty as the storm rolled through the community of 100,000 people.
Hurricane Matthew was carrying extremely dangerous winds of 120 mph (195 kph), the US National Hurricane Centre said.
The US National Weather Service said the storm could be the most powerful to strike northeast Florida in 118 years.