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Schools, conference continue monitoring Hurricane Matthew for potential Week 6 impact

While it falls far down on the list of importance, a major weather event wreaking havoc as it makes its way through the Atlantic Ocean has the potential to impact college football games across the Eastern seaboard this weekend.

Hurricane Matthew, described as the most powerful Atlantic tropical storm in almost a decade, made landfall in Haiti Tuesday morning and is now headed for Cuba. It’s expected Matthew will be a Category 3 or 4 hurricane when it reaches Florida Thursday and a Category 2 or 3 by the time it makes its way up to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina later Thursday and on into Friday.

From NBC News:

While its potential impact on the U.S. remained unclear, NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins suggested that the storm’s path could be reminiscent of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 — which required the evacuation of 2.6 million people across five states [the third-largest evacuation in United State history].

As of Tuesday morning, Karins expected the storm could be a “major hurricane” from Florida all the way to North Carolina, though he noted the projected impact might fluctuate.

“Unfortunately, the models continue to show a westward trend,” Roth said early Tuesday. “That means the potential for a landfall or some impacts in the U.S. is increasing.”

Week 6 games Saturday such as LSU-Florida in Gainesville, Florida State-Miami in Miami Gardens, Virginia Tech-North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Notre Dame-North Carolina State in Raleigh and Georgia-South Carolina in Columbia could all be affected by the hurricane as they are all in or around the projected path of the storm. As of now, however, all games will go off as scheduled.

The Palm Beach Post writes that “UM Athletics Director Blake James said Monday evening the school was ‘monitoring’ the storm and did not plan to make changes to its schedule.” According to the Tallahassee Democrat, FSU is in “constant communication” with their counterparts at UM as well as ACC officials.

Baton Rouge Advocate notes that the SEC " regularly communicates with schools on weather issues and will remain in contact with those programs involved in both games that have potential to be impacted by Matthew, said Herb Vincent, SEC associate commissioner for communications.

There has been no change as it relates to the status of #LSUvsUF.
— Florida Gators (@FloridaGators) October 4, 2016

Weather Statement. @UofSC #Gamecocks

— Gamecock Athletics (@GamecocksOnline) October 4, 2016