Gov. Scott, state emergency officials stress 'calm and urgency' ahead of Hurricane Matthew
As Hurricane Matthew prepared to lash the Bahamas and inched closer to Florida on Wednesday morning, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he is worried there haven’t been enough evacuations yet in advance of the strong storm.
“My biggest concern is people don’t take it seriously enough,” Scott said told emergency management officials during a morning briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. “This could turn, and are we going to be ready?”
In a news conference afterward, Scott repeatedly used words like “devastating” and “catastrophic” to stress the seriousness of the damage Matthew could do to Florida’s eastern coast.
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He said residents in coastal low-lying areas or on barrier islands should leave immediately.
“This is a dangerous storm and it is never too early to evacuate,” Scott said. “You must leave before it’s too late. We cannot put first-responders’ lives at risk during the storm.”