Schools and airports across the region were closed on Thursday and some hospitals were evacuated, according to local media.
The eye, or center, of the storm was expected to pass near Andros Island and New Providence in the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday.
In Nassau, the Bahamas capital located on New Providence, it was raining steadily on Thursday morning and high winds were bucking palm trees.
On Tuesday and Wednesday Matthew, the strongest hurricane in the Caribbean since Felix struck Central America in 2007, had whipped Cuba and Haiti with 140 mph (225 kph) winds and torrential rain, pummeling towns and destroying livestock, crops and homes.
The brunt of the storm was expected to hit the state in the early hours of Saturday.