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Hurricane Matthew Heading Toward Nuclear Power Stations

Hurricane Matthew is only miles away from Cape Canaveral and is heading toward two nuclear power stations as well as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, officials say.

Cape Canaveral endured its last major storm in 2005 with Hurricane Wilma, the Daily Mail reported. Since then, the Space Shuttle program has shut down and the Kennedy Space Center is now leased out by NASA.

The Kennedy Space Center closed on Oct. 6 due to Hurricane Matthew. The center is expected to reopen on Oct. 8, according to their website.

The storm is expected to arrive at north Palm Beach County, Jacksonville, on Oct. 7, according to the National Hurricane Center. The St. Lucie and Turkey Point nuclear reactors are directly in its path.

“Some reactors were shut [down] as a precaution to protect equipment from the storm; others were forced to shut down or reduce power output due to damage to plant facilities or transmission infrastructure serving the plant,” the Department of Energy said in a statement.

Nuclear experts said there were no issues in Japan in 2011 when the Fukushima nuclear power station was hit by a tsunami.

The Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago Club resort is also in the storm's path. After Hurricane Frances in 2004, Trump told the Palm Beach Post: “We lost a lot of the vegetation that gave Mar-a-Lago its character. I've been told by my people there that it re-landscaped the place.”

Amtrak train service between Miami and New York has been suspended and cruise lines have rerouted ships to avoid the storm, which is expected to be the most powerful hurricane to hit Florida in 118 years.

The strongest winds were recorded at 120 mph offshore. Government officials have declared a state of emergency in several states and more than 2 million people have been warned to flee inland.

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Sources: Daily Mail, Kennedy Space Center / Photo credit: via Daily Mail

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