Gov. McCrory declares a state of emergency for 66 counties

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - The Latest on Hurricane Matthew (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

Jamaica's government has discontinued a hurricane warning and replaced it with a tropical storm warning as Hurricane Matthew's center tracks closer to Haiti.

Evan Thompson, director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, said late Monday afternoon that authorities believed the island had been "spared a bit," considering forecasters initially predicted Matthew's eye might rake over Jamaica's east as a powerful hurricane.

"We escaped the worst of the impacts, but we don't think that we are out of the woods yet," Thompson said in Jamaica's capital as Matthew's outer bands continued to soak parts of the island.

More than 700 people moved into shelters in the eastern parish of St. Thomas and the Salvation Army said there were about 200 people at its shelters in Kingston. But many islanders chose to ride Matthew out at home.


6:25 p.m.

The chief of Haiti's civil protection agency has revised the number of confirmed deaths related to the approaching Hurricane Matthew to one -- a fisherman whose body was found in rough waters off the south coast Monday.

Agency chief Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste had said early Monday that the body of two fishermen whose boats capsized in white-capped seas had been recovered but she later said that was wrong. She said a fisherman who went missing Sunday off the southern town of Aquin was still considered missing.

The one confirmed death in Haiti brings the total for the storm to at least three. One man died Friday in Colombia and a 16-year-old in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was killed Sept. 28 when the system passed through the eastern Caribbean.


1:55 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency for 66 counties in the central and eastern parts of the state because Hurricane Matthew is on a course that would take it along the East Coast.

McCrory told a news conference on Monday that the declaration will immediately help farmers clear their fields of crops already affected by heavy rain over the last two weeks.

He said he doesn't want other crops ruined, so restrictions on truck weights and hours of service are lifted under the emergency declaration to allow farmers to take their harvest to market.

The governor said he didn't want farmers to wait until Thursday to begin work if the storm is close to North Carolina.


1:30 p.m.

The Civil Defense director for the Dominican Republic says his country has evacuated 13,000 people from high-risk areas ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew.

Rafael de Luna says rescue workers also are on alert in 24 of the 32 provinces in the country, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

De Luna says authorities have banned navigation all along the country's coasts and are barring recreational activities in many mountains, rivers and beaches.

The hurricane is expected to hit Haiti hardest, but heavy rains and winds are also projected for the Dominican Republic.


1 p.m.

Any impact from Hurricane Matthew is still days away, but South Carolina's already preparing for the storm.

On Monday, Hilton Head Island announced that work is being suspended on a $21 million dollar project to dredge sand from the ocean and rebuild the beach on the resort island on the state's southern tip. A dredge is being moved to safe harbor and more than 2 miles (3 kilometers) of pipe in place along the beach will be disassembled and stowed until the storm passes by.

Those preparations are expected to be complete by Wednesday. It's the third time this year work on the project has been suspended because of bad weather.

Farther north, Charleston Southern University says it's moving its home football game against Albany State to Thursday night in the Charleston area. The game had been set for Saturday at midday. That's when the National Hurricane Center projects that Matthew will be offshore of South Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane.


12:30 p.m.

Cuba has declared a hurricane alert for six eastern provinces and is moving residents of low-lying areas and off-shore islands into temporary shelters in government buildings.

In Santiago, state workers are removing traffic lights from poles to keep them from falling during the hurricane and residents are boarding up windows with planks and pieces of sheet metal.

People have lined up by the dozens outside state stores to buy subsidized food ahead of Hurricane Matthew's expected arrival at the eastern tip of Cuba on Tuesday.

On the main highway into Santiago, farmers and residents of outlying towns have been heading toward shelters hauling possessions such as mattresses, in horse-drawn carts or tied atop the roofs of aging Soviet autos.

President Raul Castro has toured the city to review hurricane preparations.   

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NC Gov. McCrory gave an update on state preparation Monday for Hurricane Matthew: