Hurricane Matthew: Not everyone is evacuating as deadly storm nears
(CNN)[Breaking news update, published at 9:58 p.m. ET]
A man who led South Carolina police directing hurricane evacuation traffic on a chase was wounded after opening fire on officers, Berkeley County Chief Deputy Mike Cochran tells CNN. The man's condition is unknown.
[Original story, published at 9:22 p.m. ET]
As hundreds of thousands of people potentially in the path of Hurricane Matthew fled inland Wednesday, not everyone was evacuating.
In Charleston, South Carolina, which likely will see the powerful storm's impact this weekend, some people were boarding up businesses.
Cheryl Quinn told CNN's Stephanie Elam she is planning to hunker down.
"I think we're staying put," she said. She and her husband were fine a year ago when Charleston endured heavy rain after a brush with a big storm. "It was kind of a party down here. I hate to say that," because storms can be scary, she added.
Still she has a backup plan.
"We have a hotel reservation in our back pocket, and we're kind of just playing it by ear," she said.
Officials cautioned residents of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia not to wait to decide whether they should stay or go.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned residents they had 24 hours to get ready, or better yet, get going.
More than 1.5 million Floridians live in the 12 counties under evacuation orders.
The National Hurricane Center isn't saying that Hurricane Matthew will make landfall in Florida, just that the center of the storm will get "very near" the Atlantic Coast, possibly as a Category 4 hurricane.
Even if Matthew doesn't come ashore, Florida will be hit by strong winds and heavy rain, Scott said.
As of Wednesday night, Matthew hurled 115 mph (185 kph) winds as it passed over the Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center said.
The hurricane was about 170 miles (275 kilometers) south of Nassau, Bahamas, and 360 miles (580 kilometers) from West Palm Beach, Florida.
President Barack Obama warned Americans in the storm's path to pay attention and take any evacuation orders seriously. He said if the core of the storm strikes Florida, it could have a "devastating effect."
Florida braces for 'direct hit'
Scott has activated 1,500 National Guard members. He has repeatedly warned that a direct hit by Matthew could lead to "massive destruction" on a level unseen since Hurricane Andrew devastated the Miami area in 1992.
Texroy Spence, of Deerfield Beach, Florida, loads plywood onto his car at the Home Depot on Tuesday.
Many residents found long gas lines Wednesday but Scott said the state is not experiencing any gas supply or distribution shortages. "We have heard of some individual stations (being) short, but in no area of the state are we short of fuel," the governor said, adding that the state has placed fuel in some areas and sends it to stations that need more.
Airline passengers were urged to call before leaving for the airport. Fort Lauderdale's airport is to close Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and FlightAware.com says almost 250 flights are canceled at Miami International.
State offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in 26 Florida counties, Scott said.
Palm Beach residents already cleared many grocery store shelves ahead of the storm.
In Jupiter, resident Randy Jordan told CNN affiliate WPEC people were pushing and shoving their way through the local Home Depot to buy supplies ranging from batteries to flashlights.
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"The vibe on the street this morning is pre-panic," Jordan said. "By tomorrow, it should just be a brawl."
Residents still had a sense of humor. Olivia A. Cole posted a photo on Twitter of an empty grocery shelf, save for eight cans of a soup typically enjoyed in another region of the country. "South Florida wants to survive #HurricaneMatthew. But we'd rather die than eat clam chowder," Cole joked.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley gave evacuation orders for the coastal counties of Charleston and Beaufort.
An estimated 250,000 residents evacuated from Charleston and Beaufort, South Carolina, on Wednesday, said Kim Stenson, the director of South Carolina Emergency Management. He said as many as 200,000 people will leave Thursday.