1.5M in Florida urged to evacuate before storm

| October 6, 2016


MIAMI (WCTV Eyewitness News) – A spokeswoman for Florida’s governor says about 1.5 million residents have been urged to leave their homes as Hurricane Matthew makes its way toward to state.

Most of the counties along Florida’s Atlantic coast have issued mandatory evacuations along the easternmost areas.

Jackie Schutz, spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, says the estimate of people statewide who are either being ordered or urged to evacuate is about 1.5 million.

Officials say some 3,000 people have already checked into shelters in Florida ahead of Hurricane Matthew’s approach.

According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, 48 shelters are already providing refuge for 3,015 people in Florida. Another 13 special needs shelters are already housing 31 people.

The shelters are all in schools in areas where evacuations — either mandatory or voluntary — are underway. The Florida counties include Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Glades, Martin, Duval and Brevard.

Special needs shelters are designed to aid people with disabilities. Shelters are listed at floridadisaster.org.

South Carolina has told about a quarter million people to leave the coast and Gov. Nikki Haley says she currently plans to order more evacuations for two more counties Thursday, bringing the total to about 500,000 people.

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