Posts Tagged ‘evacuations’

Last-minute shoppers buy cups, icepacks ahead of hurricane

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

One problem with stocking up ahead of a hurricane is you never know exactly what you’ll need. Will the storm take out your power, your water – and for how long?
“It’s a little scary only because the meteorologists can’t really predict exactly what’s going to happen,” Natalie Elizur, 25, said while joining lines of shoppers making last-minute purchases at a grocery store in Fort Lauderdale ahead of Hurricane Matthew. “They can only track the storm, but they can’t really predict exactly what’s going to happen.”
Elizur, who said she already had stocked up on water, was now buying cups, plates, icepacks, food and a flashlight.
“A lot of styrofoam cups and plates so we have things to eat – because we’re probably not going to be able to wash dishes without water. Ice packs to keep things cool – we’re probably not going to have electricity, for a couple days – or we don’t really know how long,” she said.
Her choices were somewhat limited, because the many shoppers before her already had left some of the shelves bare.
Reprinted with permission of the Associated Press.
The post Last-minute shoppers buy cups, icepacks ahead of hurricane appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Rick Scott on hurricane: ‘This is going to kill people’

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

As he has all week, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday continued to stress the potential for peril brought by Hurricane Matthew.
“If you think someone is making a bad decision (by not evacuating), call them,” he said during an early morning briefing at the state’s Emergency Operations Center. “Don’t let people try to (stay) in an evacuation area. Do it now; don’t wait.”
Matthew killed at least 16 people in the Caribbean as it cut through Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas.
Scott also announced he is activating an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to help with hurricane response and recovery, for a total of 2,500 members now active. There are another 4,000 ready to be deployed if needed, he said.
About 1.5 million Floridians are currently under evacuation orders, the governor’s office said in a separate statement.
Leaving now, Scott added, “could save your life, your friend’s life, your family member’s life … Unfortunately, this is going to kill people.”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management said 48 shelters set up in schools already are providing for just over 3,000 people, mostly in coastal counties. Another 13 special needs shelters are currently housing 31 people.
These shelters are in areas where evacuations — either mandatory or voluntary — are underway.
The storm is forecast to near the Florida coast starting Thursday night, potentially as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. Any slight deviation could mean landfall or it heading farther out to sea.
Either way, forecasters say it will come close enough to wreak havoc along the lower part of the East Coast, dumping up to 15 inches in rain in some spots. Storm surge of 5 feet to 8 feet was expected along the coast from central Florida into Georgia.
“There are no excuses,” Scott said Thursday morning. “If you’re reluctant to evacuate, just think of all the people this storm has already

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Hundreds of thousands flee Florida coast to escape Matthew’s fury

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of anxious people boarded up their homes and businesses and grabbed a few belongings to flee inland as Hurricane Matthew gained strength and roared toward the Southeast seaboard on Thursday.
In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said the state, its skies already darkening from early outer rain bands of the life-threatening storm, could be facing its “biggest evacuation ever” as Matthew menaces almost all the state’s Atlantic coast.
As people hurried for higher ground, authorities in South Carolina said a motorist died on Wednesday after being shot by deputies during an altercation along an evacuation route.
Scott said Florida, its skies already darkening from early outer rain bands of the life-threatening storm, could be facing its “biggest evacuation ever” as Matthew menaces almost all the state’s Atlantic coast.
About 2 million people from Florida across Georgia to South Carolina were being encouraged to head inland and away from the most powerful storm to threaten the Atlantic coast in more than a decade. Matthew killed at least 16 people in the Caribbean as it sliced through Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.
“This is a dangerous storm,” Scott warned. “The storm has already killed people. We should expect the same impact in Florida.”
Hurricane Matthew is barreling over the Bahamas and taking aim at Florida, expected to near the Atlantic coast starting Thursday night. The Category 3 storm has top sustained winds of 125 mph. Florida hasn’t been hit by a storm this powerful in more than a decade.
Florida emergency officials said 48 shelters in schools already have begun providing refuge to more than 3,000 people, some with special needs, mostly in coastal counties where evacuations both mandatory and voluntary were underway. Patients also were transferred from two Florida waterfront hospitals and a nursing home near Daytona Beach to safer locations.
Major theme parks in Orlando, central

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Evacuations underway in 2 Florida counties

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Brevard County, and voluntary evacuations have been activated in St. Lucie County, but Gov. Rick Scott urged other coastal residents potentially in harm’s way not to wait to be told to leave.
The governor said during a Wednesday morning news conference that “if you’re able to go early, leave now.” The mandatory evacuations were scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
The slow-moving storm was expected to drench the coast from the Keys through central Florida, storm surge up to 5 feet deep was expected along the Atlantic coast, and the hurricane could produce tornadoes. Even if Matthew doesn’t come ashore, its tropical storm-force winds could reach the state.
In his 5 a.m. analysis of the forecast models for Matthew’s track along the Atlantic coast, senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown wrote, “Only a slight deviation to the west of forecast track could result in landfall in Florida.”
“We must prepare to be hit by a devastating hurricane,” Scott said.
“This is a dangerous storm and it’s never too early to evacuate,” Scott said. “If you live in a low-lying area or on a barrier island, go ahead and leave.”
Republished with permission of the associated Press.
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Hurricane warning extended for Florida’s coast

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

The National Hurricane Center has extended the hurricane warning northward in Florida as Matthew heads toward the East Coast.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew is heading toward the Bahamas after hitting Cuba hard.
The hurricane center says the hurricane was about 105 miles (165 kilometers) south of Long Island, Bahamas. It has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph).
The hurricane center said there is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along Florida’s east coast from North Palm Beach to the Flagler/Volusia county line. There is the possibility of life-threatening inundation during the next 48 hours from north of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Fernandina Beach.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nicole is moving west-northwestward over the western Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph). It poses no threat to land.
The U.S. government says its disaster assessment teams are working to evaluate the effects of Hurricane Matthew a day after the storm blew across a portion of southwestern Haiti with winds of 145 mph (233 kph).
USAID official R. David Harden told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that it had pre-positioned emergency food and other aid in advance of the storm. The assistant administrator for the bureau for democracy, conflict, and humanitarian assistance said the area was “hit pretty hard” but the agency has not yet completed an assessment.
Harden said the U.S. is offering $1 million in food assistance and $500,000 in non-foot items such as blankets, shelters and hygiene kits.
Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Kenneth Merten said on the call that it is up to Haiti whether it will go ahead with planned national elections on Sunday. He said the U.S. interest is only that they have fair and credible elections and that they be held either on Sunday or the “not too distant future.”
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Rick Scott urges people to get ready for Matthew now; leave now if you’re already planning to evacuate

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

With projections now showing an increased chance that monster Hurricane Matthew might hit Florida’s Atlantic coast, Gov. Rick Scott took to the Weather Channel Tuesday afternoon to urge residents to prepare now and to leave now if they’re planning to evacuate regardless.
The storm, after devastating Haiti, still is two or more days away if it hits Florida at all, according to the latest models, but it’s threat has grown and Scott said the worst must be assumed for preparations.
“Just get ready,” he advised. “You don’t know what his going to happen. Do not wait.”
The National Hurricane Center’s latest projections show the most likely path of Hurricane Matthew just skirting Florida’s Atlantic coast Thursday or early Friday, but the cone of uncertainty now extends inland well beyond Orlando. By Thursday it could have sustained winds in the range of 115-130 mph, making it a powerful Category 3 storm. Rainfall along the coast could be as much as eight inches. Advisories have been issued from Broward County through Brevard County, with the prospect that Florida’s First Coast also could receive advisories soon.
Scott said the state and all counties are now in full storm preparation mode and the challenge now is to get citizens to do the same. He urged people to pay attention to local news and the Weather Channel and follow their advice.
He said decisions on mandatory evacuations would be made county-by-county as needed. But he urged people that if they’re planning to leave regardless, to do it as soon as possible, to beat the rush.
Shelters are opening in the western sides of all East Coast counties, and officials are trying to reach out to elderly and disable residents to give them early assistance. He said pet shelters and other facilities also are being arranged. “We tried hard to think through

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