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Hurricane Matthew: Millions Evacuating – Latest on What You Need to Know

5 Oct 2016, 3:25 pm

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Matthew has already killed at least 11 people and left a trail of destruction across the  Caribbean.

Florida

Today, Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls in counties where there are evacuations. Governor Scott activated the National Guard on Monday and today directed members to be stationed in North, Central and South Florida so they can be mobilized immediately. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has labeled Hurricane Matthew as an extremely dangerous and powerful storm. Florida is expected to feel impacts beginning Thursday and lasting through the weekend.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Evacuations have started to be ordered this morning and I expect more counties to order evacuations soon. This is a dangerous storm and it is never too early to evacuate. If you live in a low lying area, on a barrier island, or in an area prone to flooding, you need to make plans to leave now. Protecting life and moving people to safety remains our top priority and today I directed the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls as needed to keep traffic flowing. If there is an evacuation order in a county, all tolls will be suspended in that county.

“I have activated 500 National Guard members across the state. Per my direction, they are currently stationed in North, Central and South Florida so they can be mobilized immediately. In addition to this, we have over 6,000 National Guard members ready to be activated if needed. The National Guard will be focused on staging to perform search and rescue efforts and will be ready to assist our counties as they need it. I have directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to preposition high-water vehicles and have search and rescue teams on standby throughout the state.

“This morning, I directed state personnel to deploy to every eastern coastal county to help assist with preparation, recovery and response efforts. The state also has water, food, and other lifesaving materials stationed in North Florida, Central Florida and South Florida. These resources will be able to be deployed to affected communities immediately.

“Shelters will begin to open today and tomorrow for special needs populations, pets and general populations. The American Red Cross will also be opening 97 shelters across the state over the next two days. There is absolutely no reason not to evacuate and there is shelter available for anyone in our state.”

As of this afternoon, Florida is under significant tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings. A tropical storm watch extends from the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys eastward and Florida Bay. A hurricane watch extends from the Flagler/Volusia County line north to the Florida/Georgia line. A hurricane warning extends from Golden Beach to the Flagler/Volusia County line and includes Lake Okeechobee.

FL Evacuation Areas

Georgia

Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, Gov. Nathan Deal today issued a state of emergency for 13 counties in Georgia’s coastal areas. The National Hurricane Center forecasts Hurricane Matthew will travel dangerously close to the southeastern region of Georgia.

“Hurricane Matthew is forecast to potentially impact the Georgia coast within 72 hours,” said Deal. “While the exact effects are unknown at this time, I’ve issued an emergency declaration for coastal counties effective October 5 and extending for seven days. I’ve ordered the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) to work with appropriate state and local agencies to ensure all precautions are taken to protect residents and minimize risks to property and roads. The safety of Georgians is our first priority, and we urge residents in these areas to remain calm but vigilant as they prepare for potential impact.”

The state of emergency includes the following 13 counties: Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties.

North Carolina

While the storm track of Hurricane Matthew has shifted to the east over the last few hours, Governor Pat McCrory is still urging North Carolinians and visitors to monitor the storm and closely follow any evacuation orders from local authorities. Evacuations of Ocracoke Island started this morning for non-residents and other coastal areas may order evacuations depending on the track of the storm.

“This morning we received some good news that Matthew’s track has moved slightly off shore, but we remain cautiously optimistic and are prepared to respond at a moment’s notice,” said Governor McCrory. “This is a large storm and its impacts could be felt well inland. It is still extremely important for residents in the eastern parts of the state to stay informed in case you need to evacuate and always follow the directions of your local emergency officials.”

Governor McCrory said the state is in the process of staging needed resources including Highway Patrol, National Guard, urban search and rescue teams, swift water rescue teams, teams of ambulances and paramedics, as well as needed supplies.

Additionally, state transportation equipment is being staged in vulnerable areas, and the Ferry Division is assisting with the evacuation of Ocracoke Island at the direction of the governor. A ferry from the Southport-Fort Fisher route is on standby to assist as needed. Based on the latest track of the storm, the extra ferry can be moved north on Thursday if needed and the Southport-Fort Fisher route will not be disrupted on Wednesday.

Governor McCrory has been in contact with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and has offered assistance as needed.

South Carolina

Governor Nikki Haley issued an executive order declaring a State of Emergency.  Evacuation begins today at 3 PM for the following counties; Beaufort; Charleston; Jasper; Colleton; Dorchester and Berkeley.   Phase two evacuations for Thursday will be in force for Horry and Georgetown Counties and an exact time announced later today.  Schools and county and state government offices in the following counties are closed: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Beaufort, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lexington, Marlboro, Marion, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties.

SC Evacuation Areas

SC Evacuation Routes

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