FLORIDA (AP) —
Florida Gov. Rick Scott maintains that state and local officials are prepared for Hurricane Matthew, even as he called the storm bearing down on the state a “monster.”
“Matthew is likely to produce devastating impacts,” Scott says.
Scott says people in the northeast part of the state still have time to evacuate and residents could still choose to go to a shelter.
Authorities have told roughly 1.5 million people across the state to evacuate. The mass exodus led to crammed highways, full hotels and the need to open dozens of hurricane shelters. The looming storm also has led to gas shortages, though Scott said the state still has five days’ worth of fuel supplies.
Officials are expecting massive power outages across the region once Hurricane Matthew hits full-force.
Although the state has food and water supplies ready for after the storm, Scott cautioned that people need to be able to take care of themselves for the first three days.
President Barack Obama declared an emergency in the state of Florida and has ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local response efforts to Hurricane Matthew.
Obama’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate efforts to alleviate the suffering caused by the hurricane. The directive applies to more than two dozen counties in Florida.
Emergency declarations are designed to help provide emergency services to protect lives and property, and to lessen the threat of a catastrophe.