Florida governor on Hurricane Matthew, ‘Prepare for a direct hit’

Wind blows coconut trees during the passage of Hurricane Matthew in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Hurricane Matthew roared into the southwestern coast of Haiti on Tuesday, threatening a largely rural corner of the impoverished country with devastating storm conditions as it headed north toward Cuba and the eastern coast of Florida. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

Orlando (WFLA) — Governor Rick Scott updated Florida residents about Hurricane Matthew early Tuesday afternoon.

The governor said that wind strength is currently the biggest concern for Florida. “It hasn’t gotten better for us, it’s gotten worse,” he said.

The Florida National Guard has activated 200 troops. More than 6,000 guardsmen are ready to be deployed if needed.

Scott warned residents that the storm’s direction could change and people should be prepared for prolonged power outages. He said that counties on Florida’s east coast are focused on protecting life.

“Hurricane Matthew is a deadly storm and has already killed multiple people. Our number one priority is to protect life and we will continue to communicate with all 67 Florida counties to ensure critical needs are met. At this time, we cannot focus on the exact track of this storm. We know that it will be very close to our state and any small deviation from its track could mean a catastrophic change along Florida’s east coast. That is why everyone in our state must prepare today for a direct hit,” said Governor Scott.

Many coastal counties are preparing to open shelters within the next 24 hours, if needed.

The Florida Department of Transportation is making sure roads are clear for possible evacuations.

The Florida Highway Patrol has made contact with local troops in preparation for supporting evacuations in the major corridors so people can be moved to safety. The state has been in contact with fuel industry partners and at this time, there are no reported supply, distribution or retail fuel shortages, according to the governor’s office.

On Monday, the governor signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for every Florida county due to the severity and magnitude of Hurricane Matthew.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s