Rescue workers in Haiti try to reach towns cut off by storm

The high winds of Hurricane Matthew roar over Baracoa, Cuba, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. The dangerous Category 4 storm blew ashore in Haiti, unloading heavy rain as it swirled on toward a lightly populated part of Cuba and the Bahamas. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
The high winds of Hurricane Matthew roar over Baracoa, Cuba, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. The dangerous Category 4 storm blew ashore in Haiti, unloading heavy rain as it swirled on toward a lightly populated part of Cuba and the Bahamas. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Rescue workers in Haiti are struggling to reach towns that were cut off by Hurricane Matthew.

The full extent of the death and destruction from the storm in Haiti still isn’t known, even as the storm moves on. It’s now started battering the Bahamas, and it’s triggering large-scale evacuations along the U.S. East Coast.

A woman carries a child through a waterlogged street as they head to a shelter under the pouring rain triggered by Hurricane Matthew in Leogane, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Matthew slammed into Haiti's southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds tearing off roofs in the poor and largely rural area, uprooting trees and leaving rivers bloated and choked with debris. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
A woman carries a child through a waterlogged street as they head to a shelter under the pouring rain triggered by Hurricane Matthew in Leogane, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Matthew slammed into Haiti’s southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds tearing off roofs in the poor and largely rural area, uprooting trees and leaving rivers bloated and choked with debris. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

At least 11 deaths have been blamed on the powerful storm as it marched across the Caribbean over the past week. Five of the deaths were in Haiti. The western tip of that country is now isolated, with a bridge washed out and phone communications down.

With top winds now reaching 120 miles an hour, Matthew has been pounding the southern Bahamas with heavy rain and storm surge.

Forecasters said the storm could hit Florida — or come dangerously close — late tomorrow or early Friday and then scrape its way up the East Coast toward the Carolinas over the weekend.

With stronger winds than even Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Matthew could become the first major hurricane to blow ashore in the U.S. since Wilma slashed across Florida in 2005.

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