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La Crosse area family in Haiti in path of Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew Hits Caribbeans

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) - Residents of the Caribbean are facing an intense encounter with Hurricane Matthew.

The category 4 storm could bring catastrophic damage to the Caribbean Islands before threatening the U.S.

Hurricane Matthew is already flooding streets in Jamaica with some areas expecting more than three feet of rain.

In Haiti, the slow-moving storm is expected to dump between 15 to 25 inches of rain.

The government opened about 1,300 emergency shelters that can hold up to 340,000 people.

A family from the La Crosse area moved down to Port Au Prince in August for mission work.

They say while the storm had not hit their area as of Monday afternoon, they were preparing as they could.

"It's eerie because you know that this catastrophic storm is coming, but it's just windy and raining, and I think because of that, and because of the lack of emergency alert systems and things like that, the average person that you're talking to really doesn't even have a grid for what's about to happen," said Sami Rigelsky.

Matthew will make its way towards Cuba with hurricane conditions early Tuesday. 

The U.S. has already evacuated about 700 family members from the naval base in Guantanamo Bay.

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