Red Cross now has more than 5,000 people in evacuation centers in Georgia and SC.
Down A1A in Cape Canaveral, marinas, vehicle dealerships, T-shirt shops and a couple of mini-golf courses were all deserted - but undamaged by winds. As it continued north, a storm surge of 7 to 11 feet were possible.
With Hurricane Matthew battering the southeastern United States, a fleet of Earth-watching weather satellites is tracking the storm from space, revealing staggering views like this temperature map of the hurricane's eye as seen from above. Its wind speed was holding steady, and it was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour. A woman in her 60s also was killed in Volusia County but details were unavailable and a Jacksonville TV station reported that a Putnam County woman was killed after a tree fell on her trailer.
Forecasters said Matthew could dump up to 15 inches of rain in some spots and cause a storm surge of 9 feet or more.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 60 miles from the center, with tropical storm-force winds up to 185 miles from the center.
In the end, Matthew largely skirted the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Palm Beach areas of over 6 million people and hugged closer to the coast farther north, menacing such cities as Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Cape Canaveral, St. Augustine and Jacksonville.
As of 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), U.S. National Hurricane Center said the hurricane had downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 3 with sustained winds up to 120 miles per hour, adding that the hurricane was moving to northwest. Storm surge flooding of 25 to 28 feet above normal in MS and 10 to 20 feet in Louisiana breached the levees and inundated New Orleans, causing 1,200 deaths and catastrophic damage of over $75 billion.
Winds were already blustery in Hilton Head, South Carolina, with one gust measured at 63 miles per hour. The forecast track has the center of Matthew moving near, or over, the east coast of Florida through tonight and near, or over, the coasts of Georgia and SC on Saturday. "What we feared is now happening in North Carolina".
Few storms with winds as powerful as Matthew's have struck Florida, and the NHC warned of "potentially disastrous impacts".
"Just because the center of circulation is offshore doesn't mean you can't be the center of action (along the coast)", National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb said.
"The weather experts have described Matthew as a once in a 100-year type of storm", said Mayor Lenny Curry in Jacksonville, Florida, home to 850,000 people - almost half of whom had been evacuated.
While the wind's howling "sounded like a pack of wolves", he said, "I got off damn good". The storm is projecting hurricane-force winds 25 miles away from its center.
Matthew, which saw winds hit 145mph, is the worst storm to threaten America's Atlantic seaboard in more than a decade.
Scott reported Friday morning that almost 600,000 customers were without power throughout Florida.
Southern Florida escaped the brunt of the storm overnight, but U.S. President Barack Obama and other officials urged people farther north not to get complacent.
Residents of Brunswick, Georgia, woke to roads covered by water or fallen trees and power lines.
At least three towns reported dozens of fatalities, including the hilly farming village of Chantal, whose mayor said 86 people perished, mostly when trees crushed houses. The majority, 271 people, died in Haiti, said Civil Protection Service spokesman Joseph Edgard Celestin.
JEREMIE, Haiti - People across southwest Haiti were digging through the wreckage of their homes Friday, salvaging what they could of their meager possessions after devastating Hurricane Matthew killed hundreds of people in the impoverished country. The storm's center could be near or over the coasts of Georgia and SC on Saturday, the hurricane center said.
Brushing up: Three-quarters of a million people in SC were left without electricity, and 250,000 were in the dark in coastal Georgia.