Updated Friday, October 7 at 9:20 A.M. EST: According to the National Weather Center, Hurricane Matthew is a category 3 as of now and 476,000 people are currently without power. The eye is a few miles off the coast and is expected to make landfall in a few hours.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling the now category 4 hurricane a “life threatening” one, and is urging everyone to seek a safe shelter immediately.
The storm is expected to make landfall tonight, with rain and wind already hitting parts of the coast. As of now, it appears the eye will make landfall just north of Palm Beach.
In preparation for the storm, Walt Disney, Epcot, Legoland and all other parks are now closed, as are schools and government offices.
In addition, flights in and out of Florida are being halted. Both Jet Blue and Delta are offering free exchanges and cancellations; check with them for complete details.
Those planning to evacuate by car may be stuck at this time, as roads are clogged and the rain has begun to move in, making travel next to impossible.
For those in the area, here is a rundown of emergency contact numbers, the latest mandatory and voluntary evacuation areas, evacuation shelters, airport closings and more.
Emergency Contact Numbers/Radio and Apps:
Florida Emergency Information Line: 800-342-3557
The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) is a toll-free hotline that is now active and available around the clock.
Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for: all coastal areas, Nassau zones A-C-F, Palm Beach zones A and B, Cape Canaveral, Brevard County’s Merritt Island, barrier islands and low-lying areas; St. Johns County, low-lying areas and barrier islands; Volusia low-lying areas, RV and mobile homes and beach-side homes, Martin’s barrier islands and low-lying areas, Flagler zones A bad B.
Voluntary evacuations are in effect for St. Augustine; Daytona Beach; Miami-Dade county low-lying areas and mobile homes; St. Lucie barrier island and low-lying areas; Broward level A and portions of level B, as well as low-lying areas.
Please share this article with other who may be affected, so they know where and how to get to safety.