Hurricane Matthew stalks Florida coast

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Hurricane Matthew stalked Florida’s east coast early Friday, teetering parallel to the peninsula.

Matthew’s eyewall was brushing Cape Canaveral packing 120 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center at 7 a.m. ET.

The biggest questions remained: Will the storm make landfall? If so, where?

Weather experts were watching for the slightest change in Matthew’s unpredictable path, which they say could make an enormous difference to the hurricane’s impact on land.

“The exact path is so critical,” said CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. “Miles and kilometers really count, because if it wobbles westward by say 30 miles, it brings those strong winds onshore.”

Overnight, Matthew weakened from a Category 4 to a Category 3, but the hurricane still was dumping heavy rains and battering beachfront communities with powerful, howling winds. It took out power for more than 300,000 customers in Florida.

The downpour, storm surge and extreme winds are expected to hit central and northern sections of the Florida coast throughout Friday, according to the hurricane center.