WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday said the U.S. government has teams and supplies positioned to respond to Hurricane Matthew as the storm barrels toward Florida and other southeastern states.

"I want to emphasize to the public - this is a serious storm," Obama said after a briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "It has been building strength on its way to Florida."

He urged Americans to comply with any evacuation orders.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Ayesha Rascoe,Editing by Franklin Paul)