Hurricane Matthew now a category 4 storm is closer to Florida’s east coast tonight–about 85 miles east southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida. Below is National Weather Service Radar from Melbourne, Florida on Hurricane Matthew:
As of 7 p.m. Eastern Time tonight, here is the National Hurricane Center’s update:
ABOUT 5 MI…10 KM S OF FREEPORT GRAND BAHAMA
ABOUT 85 MI…135 KM ESE OF WEST PALM BEACH FLORIDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…140 MPH…220 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…939 MB…27.73 INCHES
“We want everyone survive this horrible storm….”We’re focusing on protecting life.” Florida Governor Rick Scott said during the 7 p.m. storm briefing broadcast live statewide Thursday.
“It’s here. It’s absolutely here…It’s a monster…I want everyone to survive this…Please stay safe.” Governor Scott said.
“Protecting life is our number one priority,” Governor Scott said.
The Florida governor warned of 11 feet high storm surge and waves over roofs for those haven’t evacuated or riding out the storm at home.
“Do not surf.. Do not be on the beach tonight. If surfing in Jacksonville tonight, get off the beach….These are projections and this could get worse,” Governor Scott said.
Governor Scott said he also asked President Obama for more generators and water-pumping equipment.
The governor said 3,500 National Guard members have been activated. “The largest number we’ve ever had,” Governor Scott said. He added high water vehicles also have been pre-position across the state for water rescues.
1.5 million Floridians have been ordered to evacuate, Governor Scott said.
“Roads are still open for evacuation and some hotels are filled at exits, Governor Scott said. He urged evacuees to go tot he next exit until they find a hotel that can take them in tonight.
Governor Scott said 130 shelters are open tonight across the state and none are filled to capacity yet.
Orange, Duval and Seminole counties have curfews in effect…. Traffic on I-10 out of Jacksonville is congested. I-4 west bound from Orlando continues to move, Scott said.
All flights have been cancelled in and out of Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando, Scott reported.
“We’re going to lose power and not for a short period time, ” Governor Scott warned.
“There are some temporary fuel shortages…Take the fuel you need,” Governor Scott said to help others so they can gas, too.
“Don’t go out during the storm. There’s going to be debris flying around. Don’t take a chance.” Governor Scott said.
Governor Scott told evacuees to return home when officials tell them when to go.
“Call the local sheriff to help you.” Governor Scott said.
“I’m going to pray for everyone’s safety,” Governor Scott said.
If you have not evacuated, Governor Scott said, “Get out. Don’t take a chance.”
Many Florida public school districts, colleges and universities have cancelled classes on Friday. Orlando’s theme parks, Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World announced they will be closed during Hurricane Matthew. Busch Gardens in Tampa plans to stay open on Friday.