Oct 5, 2016 9:31 AM
This is what Hurricane Matthew looks like as it's moving closer to the US
Forecasters say Hurricane Matthew is now heading toward the central and northwestern Bahamas.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye of Matthew was centered at 8 a.m. Wednesday about 115 miles (185 kilometers) south of Long Island in the archipelago. The NOAA has released this image of what the power of Matthew looks like right now.
It had top sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) and was moving north-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).
Matthew remains a Category 3 storm, down from a Category 4 hurricane hours earlier, though some slight strengthening is expected in coming days. Forecasters say it will be moving across the Bahamas through Thursday and is expected to be very near Florida's east coast by Thursday evening.
Several cruise ships are being rerouted from their regularly scheduled Caribbean and Bahamas ports to Key West. Key West is about 40 miles south of the portion of the Florida not currently under a tropical storm warning.
As Hurricane Matthew approaches the Bahamas, officials say nine Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessels have moored at Truman Harbor in Key West.
Naval Air Station Key West spokeswoman Trice Denny says a University of Miami Rosentiel School research called the Whalton Smith is expected to arrive in port in Key West on Wednesday.
Officials are also expecting the USNS Spearhead on Saturday, a 337-foot-long joint (Navy/Army) high-speed catamaran vessel, to be positioned in Key West for possible aid missions.