Latest update can be found here.
Update, 11:09 a.m. Wednesday
An update on the status of the LSU-Florida game will be announced after 4 p.m. CT, LSU announced Wednesday afternoon.
At 4 p.m. the National Hurricane Center will release its latest forecast advisory, including a new projected path.
Update, 10:05 a.m. Wednesday
University of Florida officials are set to meet at 11 a.m. CT to discuss the school's schedule for the remainder of the week, according to a report from The Independent Florida Alligator, the campus' student-run newspaper.
The emergency operations team will make recommendations to university president Kent Fuchs.
"Whatever happens will be for the best," Florida coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday morning.
Kendell Beckwith probably didn’t expect this question at Tuesday’s media interviews: Where will LSU’s game against Florida be played?
“I heard they’re thinking about moving the game and things like that, but I don’t know,” LSU’s senior linebacker said. “We’ll see.”
Administrators from LSU and Florida are monitoring Hurricane Matthew as it barrels through the Caribbean and heads toward Florida, but the status of the game between the Tigers and Gators has not changed, Florida and LSU officials said Tuesday.
Administrators from each school were on a conference call Tuesday morning to discuss the matter, radio host Charlie Hanagriff reported Tuesday on WNXX-FM, 104.5.
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Matthew lashed Haiti's southwestern coast Tuesday with raging winds, driving rain and storm surge. The Category 4 hurricane has killed at least seven people over the past few days as it roared across the Caribbean, The Associated Press reported.
Matthew had sustained winds of 140 miles an hour and was moving north at 9 mph, according to an update from the National Hurricane Center released Tuesday afternoon. A hurricane watch has been issued along the Florida east coast, and the latest projected path of the storm takes it about 100 miles east of Gainesville, Florida, on Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the 11 a.m. CT kickoff between the Tigers (3-2, 2-1 Southeastern) and the Gators (4-1, 2-1).
LSU administrators and its school spokesman declined to reveal potential contingency plans, saying only that they’re monitoring the storm and, as of Tuesday night, that nothing had changed. The Tigers have already once in the past year hosted an unscheduled game.
LSU and South Carolina played at Tiger Stadium last October after severe flooding washed out any hopes of playing the game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.
“It kind of reminds us of South Carolina,” kicker Colby Delahoussaye said Tuesday.
LSU and Florida aren’t alone in this debacle.
Georgia and South Carolina are scheduled to play Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina, also in the path of the storm. Tulane is set to travel to play at Central Florida in Orlando.
In LSU’s case, a timeline for a decision is not clear, but “there has to be a cut-off day,” LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette said. LSU announced the relocation of the South Carolina game on Wednesday, three days before kickoff.
Asked if LSU is making preparations to potentially host the game, Bonnette said, “You’ve got to make preparations for a lot of things. Nothing is set. Nothing has been changed.”
The Southeastern Conference has been in contact with the schools that could have games impacted by Matthew, said Herb Vincent, SEC associate commissioner for communications. A league game such as this is imperative when it comes to the SEC championship race.
Gainesville weather on Saturday might not be the issue, WAFB meteorologist Steve Caparotta said.
"The biggest impacts in Gainesville, regardless of the severity, are likely to occur before the scheduled game time," Caparotta said. "I still think it’s going to be difficult to pull off the game as scheduled."
Two prediction models show Gainesville receiving tropical storm force winds (at least 39 mph) as late as 8 p.m. Friday. One model has the area receiving hurricane force winds of at least 74 mph. The latest projection also shows the hurricane slowing down, Caparotta said, which could result in winds and rain lingering through the entire day Friday.
"When you start getting the tropical storm force winds, that’s when you start worrying about power outages and trees going down," he said. "
Understanding there is a margin of error... but GFS has T.S. force wind gusts, Euro near hurricane gusts ~Gainesville at 8 PM Friday. pic.twitter.com/OPNvuH1hwl— Steve Caparotta (@SteveWAFB) October 4, 2016
Projections have the hurricane straddling the coast of Florida, making it more unpredictable than usual, Caparotta said.
"A small change to the left or a small wiggle to the right can make a big change in impact," he said. "If it shifts left slightly, you’re talking about a big ramp up for Gainesville."
LSU is scheduled to fly into Ocala, Florida, on Friday afternoon, and the team is staying in Ocala, about 40 minutes south of Gainesville. It is scheduled to fly out of Gainesville after the game.
"That’s pushing it for sure," he said of the Tigers' flight plans into Florida. "If this forecast plays out, that would probably be a difficult flight to go through with."