Exclusive: GITMO officials preparing for Hurricane Matthew

Guantanamo Bay prepares for Hurricane Matthew

GUANTANAMO BAY (WVEC) -- Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is bracing for impact as Hurricane Matthew makes its way through the Caribbean, towards Cuba.

The Category 4 storm is currently moving toward the northwest at 5 mph and is expected to turn toward the north Sunday night, the National Hurricane Center says.

LIVE BLOG: Tracking Hurricane Matthew

A hurricane watch is in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma and Las Tunas, according to the National Hurricane Center.

13News Now was at GITMO and sat down for an interview with Commanding Officer Captain David Culpepper who is working to prepare the base for Matthew's impact.

"This is the most significant threat of a significant hurricane since I've been here," said Culpepper. "We have a protocol in place and we are starting to step through that protocol."

Preparatory measures include a mandatory evacuation for all non-essential personnel, along with 700 spouses and children; the cancellation of all regular flights and C-12 aircraft being evacuated to Naval Air Station Jacksonville. In addition, residents on the base will receive updates from Culpepper and other base officials on Radio GTMO's Openlines, which includes multiple radio lines.

Personnel not included in the mandatory evacuation and their families will be taking shelter in their homes or designated locations. 

VIDEO: GITMO officials prepare for Hurricane Matthew


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