CAPE CANAVERAL — A 116-person ride-out team of NASA, Air Force and contractor personnel hunkered down in the Emergency Operations Center in the bowels of Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Control Center overnight into Friday.
The team had planned to be spread out across major facilities at the spaceport, but consolidated for safety when landfall was predicted for a Category 4 Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricane Matthew is now a Category 3 storm. As of 8 a.m. EDT Friday, the storm is about 35 miles north-northeast of Cape Canaveral and about 45 miles east-southeast of Daytona Beach, Fla. Maximum winds are 120 mph.
The center of the hurricane was located about 26 nautical miles off shore.
“That’s good for us,” said NASA spokesman George Diller.
That distance means the actual winds aren’t quite as intense as had been forecast earlier Thursday.
A 107 mph gust was recorded in Cape Canaveral, the Associated Press reported.
For now the ride-out team has access to camera views of some facilities. It will probably be hours before any more close-up inspections are possible.
The team’s next formal weather briefing is planned at 9 a.m.
“All is not good, but all is well,” Diller said.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow James Dean on Twitter: @flatoday_jdean