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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott holds third presser today on Matthew: 'Get out and evacuate'



"My biggest concern is people aren't taking this seriously enough,'' warned Gov. Rick Scott at his third hurricane briefing of the day from St. John's County Thursday. "I don't want people to lose their life."

Scott said Martin County officials have asked 17,000 people to leave the coast and barrier islands in that county but many have decided to stay. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry also said that he was concerned that too many people remain on the long stretches along Duval County's beaches. 

"If you think someone is making a bad decisions, call them,'' Scott said. "Be a pain in the rear. Pester them to get out and evacuate.”

The governor said that people should expect winds of up to 100 mph, reaching the Palm Beach County coast first and then barreling up the coast to Brevard and Volusia counties at the peak of its destructive power 

He said the winds are expected to create a wall of water that could exceed nine feet. 

Once people see the enormity of the storm once it makes landfall, the governor said, those who haven't evacuated are likely to decide they want to leave but, he warned, it may be too late. 

"There's a lot of people that have never been through this and are still waiting to evacuate,'' Scott said. "If you're in an evacuation zone, get out now...We should not be putting lives at risk because you made the foolish decision not to evacuate."

In addition to seeking supplies of food, water and tarps from the federal government, Scott said he has asked for additional generators and pumps to help with flooding. 

He echoed the warning already sent by Florida Power & Light. "If you're on the east coast your'e going to lose power,'' he said. "We''re going to have a lot of power outages and it's not going to come back on in one day."

Scott repeated his warning that hotels are filling up west of the coast and said that AirBnb was partnering with the state to offer free shelter to people who were evacuating. He also urged people to go to, or download the app of the same name, and find the shelter sites that are available in their area. 

"I know you don't want to sit in a shelter, nobody does,'' he said, "but it might be the safest place."

[Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2016 3:30pm]


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