JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tonight, Governor Scott was briefed by the National Hurricane Center and spoke to all 67 Florida counties on their evacuation plans and any critical needs. Based on the recent forecast of Hurricane Matthew’s eye shifting more toward Florida, Governor Scott has:

  • Requested President Obama to declare a pre-landfall emergency for the State of Florida as a result of Hurricane Matthew. This request includes resources from the federal government such as food, water and tarps (To view the Governor’s request, click HERE).
  • Activated another 1,000 National Guard Members. 1,500 members are currently activated and positioned between North, Central and South Florida; and
  • Suspended all tolls in the affected areas of the state. This includes the entire Florida Turnpike, Alligator Alley, Central Florida Expressway Authority and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority. This expands Governor Scott’s direction from this morning that included suspension of tolls in counties with evacuation orders.

Governor Scott said, “Based on the most recent forecast I received from the National Hurricane Center, the eye of Hurricane Matthew is going to be much closer to Florida. There are hurricane watches and warnings along Florida’s entire east coast and we now have Tropical Storm warnings on Florida’s Gulf Coast. This storm is serious and protecting life remains our number one priority.

“I just submitted a request to President Obama for an Emergency Declaration for the state of Florida in 26 counties, as well as Direct Federal Assistance in order to meet pre-landfall critical emergency needs of our communities. It is critical that President Obama quickly approves this request.

“I also just directed the Florida National Guard to activate an additional 1,000 members to support Hurricane Matthew response. 1,500 members of the National Guard have now been activated. Florida has more than 5,000 National Guard members ready to be deployed if needed. I am also directing the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend all tolls in the affected areas of the state to keep traffic flowing as residents continue to evacuate.

“Storm impacts will begin tomorrow morning in our state. There is still time to evacuate. Get out now if you are in an area with evacuations. If you make a decision not to leave before the storm, we cannot send someone to save you because you made a bad decision. Don’t wait until you lose power. You need to leave before it is too late.”

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • North of Golden Beach to the Flagler/Volusia County line
  • Lake Okeechobee

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • North of the Flagler/Volusia county line to Savannah River

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Chokoloskee in Collier County to Golden Beach
  • Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward
  • Florida Bay

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • North of Chokoloskee in Collier County to the Suwannee River in Dixie County

The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Matthew is a major Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. Matthew is currently moving Northwest at 12 miles per hour.

Based on the current forecast, the state’s entire east coast from Monroe to Nassau County will experience tropical storm or hurricane force winds, beach erosion, rip currents and heavy rain. On Monday, Governor Scott signed an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in every Florida county to ensure resources for evacuations, sheltering and other logistical needs across our state are readily available.

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