(WFLA) — Florida Governor Rick Scott said on Thursday afternoon that one of his biggest concerns was the fact that not everyone is preparing for Hurricane Matthew, which has already killed more than 100 people in Haiti.
“We still have people who are not taking this seriously enough,” he said.
The governor warned residents that 140 to 150 mph winds will hit the coastline. He said the Palm Beach area could be the first area to be hit hard by Matthew.
“The storm has already killed people. We should expect the same impact in Florida,” he said as the outer bands of rain from the storm began hitting the state.
“No excuses. Get out,” Governor Rick Scott stressed the importance of evacuating to residents along Florida’s east coast. The governor says time is running out for those who are supposed to evacuate.
“Based on the current forecast, the heights of storm surge will be above ground,” said Gov. Scott. “Waves will be crashing on roofs. Homes will be destroyed. This is deadly. We have suspended tolls, doubled the amount of shelters and are making sure we keep the roads as clear as possible. There is absolutely no reason not to leave. If you chose to stay and try to ride the storm out, your life is at risk.”
“We are preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best,” the governor repeated.
An additional 1,000 National Guard troops will be activated, totaling 2,500 members now. There are over 4,000 National Guard members ready to be deployed if needed.
Around 1.5 million Floridians are currently under evacuation orders.
“Time is up. You have to evacuate now if you are in an evacuation zone. To everyone on Florida’s east coast, if you are reluctant to evacuate, just think of all the people the Hurricane has already killed. You and your family could be among these numbers if you don’t take this seriously,” Scott said.
Scott warned residents on the east coast they will lose power, possibly for multiple days. 84 shelters have opened across the state. Gov. Scott encouraged people on the west coast to offer their friends from the east coast a home to stay at during the hurricane.
Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.
Floridians and visitors can go to http://FloridaEvacuates.com to enter their location and see shelters available in their area.
The Florida Emergency Information Line is activated and available at 1-800-342-3557.
Weather Resources/Maps To Track Matthew:
- Active Alerts
- Live Interactive Radar – Track Matthew. Every hour of the day.
- Tropic Maps – See the latest track, spaghetti models and tropical satellites
- Current Conditions – The very latest temperatures, rainfall, and visibility in Tampa Bay area counties
- Hurricane-Ready – Powerful information to help you prepare before, during and after the hurricane
COUNTY BY COUNTY COVERAGE:
- Citrus County
- Hernando County
- Highlands County
- Hillsborough County
- Manatee County
- Orlando/Orange County
- Pasco County
- Polk County
- Pinellas County