TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — “No excuses. Get out,” Gov. Rick Scott stressed the importance of evacuating to residents along Florida’s east coast.
The governor says time is running out.
Hurricane Matthew is nearing Miami as a dangerous Category 4 storm with sustained winds up to 140 mph. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the east coast; Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for Florida’s Gulf coast. The storm surge is expected to come up 5 to 9 feet.
“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 here 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.