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Jamaicans stock up on food, board up windows for Hurricane Matthew

Island under hurricane warning

Kingston, Jamaica – Many in Jamaica boarded up their windows and stocked up on food Saturday in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.

"If we are not prepared disaster will catch us unaware,"  Sean Thomas said.

Desmond McKenzie, the country's minister of local government and community development, agrees.

"What is heading our way is something Jamaica has not seen in decades," he said.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday Matthew was 385 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. It was moving at 3 mph with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. 

The country could get up to 20 inches of rain due to the storm and flash floods and mudslides are possible. 

McKenzie is tasked with overseeing the country’s emergency plan for the storm. 

Local 10 News attended a meeting with local Jamaican leaders on Saturday as they got ready for the storm.

"The band still covers the island, the entire Jamaica will be affected by rains. There will be a greater concentration in the eastern part of the island, OK," McKenzie, said.

Many waited in long lines for food and supplies on Saturday.

"Bread, they can't make enough,"  Albert Lym,  a grocery store owner, said. 

Meanwhile,  leaders prepared for the worst.

"The resilience of Jamaicans will be demonstrated at the end this episode and I am hoping that when it comes it will not be in a category that will have any really devastating  effect on the people of Jamaica," McKenzie said.