Experts are warning those in the path of Hurricane Matthew not to take the storm lightly, with the bulk of cautions aimed at north and central Florida residents that have not evacuated.
Flaunting vicious 130 mph winds, the Category 4 storm has already killed hundreds in its brutal trek across the Caribbean, and blamed for at least 280 deaths so far in Haiti.
RELATED: Hurricane Matthew strengthens to Category 4 as it nears Fla.
Weather experts have warned that Matthew will “make history." The Weather Channel’s Brian Norcross cautioned to those choosing to stay in the storm’s path, “Do not assume you will survive.”
"This is not hype, this not hyperbole, I am not kidding,” Norcross said, adding, "I cannot overstate the danger of this storm.”
He continued, "Central and north Florida have never been hit by a hurricane this strong."
Echoing Norcross’s words, Florida's Gov. Rick Scott said at a news conference Thursday morning, "This storm will kill you,” according to ABC News. He added, "This is life and death.”
About 3 million people are currently in evacuation zones across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
More than 1.5 of those evacuations have been issued in Florida. See Weather.com for evacuation zones by state.