Submitted by ub on Sat, 10/01/2016 - 23:08

Thank God the National Hurricane Center downgraded Hurricane Matthew to a Category 4 late Saturday as the storm weakened slightly.

But as it moved away from the northern coasts of Cuba Colombia and Venezuela, Matthew remained the largest hurricane to sweep Atlantic waters since Felix in 2007, with winds reaching 155 miles per hour.

In Jamaica, where forecasters say it will make landfall by Monday, traffic-congested streets and people stood in long lines at supermarkets as they made preparations.

Florida, officials are monitoring the situation closely, with authorities recommending residents stockpile provisions over the weekend, though it remained unclear how severely the state would be affected.

Matthew, currently a Category 3 hurricane in the Caribbean, will take a northward turn this weekend, which will bring the storm along the Atlantic coast of the US next week.

While there will be some impact from the storm on the mainland, how significant impacts are along the Atlantic Seaboard will depend on Matthew's strength.

At this time, possible tracks range from an initial landfall along the southern Atlantic coast to a storm remaining a few hundred miles offshore.

One person has so far died in connection with the storm on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent: a 16-year-old boy whom officials say was struck by a boulder as he tried to clear a blocked storm drain, according to The AP. And in Colombia’s coastal department of La Guajira, local media reported that one person died in floodwaters resulting from heavy rains.