Florida Begins Evacuation Before Hurricane Matthew Makes Landfall
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Florida Begins Evacuation Before Hurricane Matthew Makes Landfall

NOAA, Hurricane Matthew map, Hurricane Matthew updates, Hurricane Matthew Path

The above map from the NOAA shows the storm trajectory, as of 5 a.m. Thursday. (NOAA)

Hurricane Matthew began battering Florida‘s east coast. By Friday morning, the storm reached Cape Canaveral and is a Category 3 hurricane with winds at 120 mph. Over the course of the day, it weakened to a Category 2, but winds are still reaching 110 mph.

It gained strength by Thursday morning, reaching Category 4 status as it hit the Bahamas. Winds were reaching speeds on 140 mph. Officials have stressed the importance of paying attention to evacuation orders because this is going to be a major event. The storm has already killed over 300 people in Haiti. President Barack Obama has ordered a state of emergency for Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott began urging those living on the coast, stretching from Miami to Jacksonville, to begin evacuating if they can on Wednesday. Scott declared a State of Emergency in every county in Florida “to ensure resources for evacuations, sheltering and other logistical needs across our state are readily available,” he said Wednesday.

You can find the map of evacuation zones by clicking here. For the most up-to-date evacuation orders, click here.

Florida has also made a deal with AirBNB, where you can offer a place to stay for free or you can find a place to stay for free. Emergency accommodations are also listed here at VisitFlorida.com.

The US National Weather Service in Jacksonville has issued a PowerPoint presentation that notes that Matthew is a “worst case” storm surge scenario and will be the first major hurricane to hit the area since October 2, 1898.

Below is the complete list of counties where evacuations have been ordered, announced by Scott in a press conference. There are 1.5 million residents in the evacuation zones.

  • Bradford County: residents in mobile structures are advised to seek more adequate shelter
  • Brevard County: Mandatory Evacuations of Merritt Island, barrier island, low-lying areas and mobile homes.
  • Broward County: Voluntary evacuations have begun for mobile homes and low lying areas.
  • Citrus County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Clay County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • DeSoto County: Voluntary evacuations have begun for manufactured homes, RVs and low lying areas.
  • Duval County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Flagler County: Mandatory evacuations have begun.
  • Glades County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Hendry County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Indian River: Mandatory evacuations have begun for barrier islands, mobile homes, and low lying areas.
  • Lake County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Manatee County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Martin County: Mandatory evacuations have begun.
  • Miami-Dade County: Voluntary evacuations have begun for mobile homes, low-lying, and unstable structures.
  • Nassau County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Okeechobee County: Voluntary evacuation orders have begun for mobile homes and low lying areas.
  • Orange County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Palm Beach County: Mandatory evacuations have begun.
  • Pasco County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Putnam County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Seminole County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Johns County: Mandatory evacuation orders have begun.
  • Lucie County: Mandatory evacuations have begun.
  • Sumter County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
  • Volusia County: Mandatory evacuations have begun for barrier islands, low-lying areas, and mobile homes.

Click here for the full list of Brevard County shelters. You can find the evacuation zones for each county expected to be effected by the storm by clicking here to go to FloridaDisaster.org. PDF maps of each county’s evacuation zones are available there.

Although the President has issued a state of emergency declaration, Scott still has further requests from the federal government.

“While the federal government has just approved our request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for food, water and tarps, I am asking the President for additional generators and pumps to help with power outages and flooding once the storm hits,” Scott said Thursday afternoon. “Following the most recent weather briefing from the National Hurricane Center, we can expect to have a lot of flooding, especially in Northeast Florida, and we will need additional pumping equipment from the federal government.”

Voluntary evacuations have also been ordered for parts of Duval County, which includes all of Jacksonville; and Flagler County. Below is the chart of evacuation orders as of 6:46 p.m. ET, from FloridaDisaster.org. The site also links to maps of the evacuation zones for each county. The main Orlando theme parks, including Walt Disney World, will be shut down on Friday and closed at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Here is the full list of school closures, via FLGov.com.

  • Alachua County – Closed Friday
  • Brevard County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Broward County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Bradford County Schools – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Clay County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Dade County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Duval County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Lake County Schools – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Flagler County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Glades County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Hardee County – Closed Thursday and Friday
  • Hendry County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Highlands County –  Closed Friday.
  • Indian River County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Lake County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Martin County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Marion County – Closed Friday.
  • Monroe County –  Partially Closed Thursday.
  • Nassau County –  Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Okeechobee County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Orange County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Osceola County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Palm Beach County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Polk County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Putnam County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Johns County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Seminole County Schools – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Lucie County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Sumter County – Closing early tomorrow and closed Friday.
  • Union County – Closed on Friday.
  • Volusia County Schools – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Sumter County – Closing early Thursday. Closed Friday.
  • FAU Lab school – Closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Florida School for Deaf and Blind – Closed Thursday and Friday.

Here is Scott’s complete press conference from Wednesday morning. Scott is also using his Twitter page to send out updates on the boundaries of warnings.

“If you’re able to go early, leave now,” Scott said on Wednesday morning. He added that everyone in the state has to prepare for a “direct hit” by the storm. “Protecting life is the number one priority right now. If Matthew directly impacts Florida, there will be massive destruction that we haven’t seen in years. This is a deadly storm approaching our state.”

In another statement, Scott announced that tolls have been suspended in all counties where evacuations have been ordered. He also activated 500 members of the National Guard across the state. Late Wednesday, Scott said that the state could be facing its “biggest evacuation ever.”

Florida residents can download the Florida Evacuates app to find the shelters closest to your location. Once they are opened, shelters will be listed here. USPS is not going to deliver mail on Friday and Saturday.

Scott has ordered state office closures in the following counties:

Baker, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia.

A YouTube user in Broward County is live streaming his view of the storm.

For more coverage on Hurricane Matthew and important information:






Read more about Hurricane Matthew in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:

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