Georgia, Florida Gov's Evacuate East Coasts Ahead Of Hurricane Matthew
Florida Governor Rick Scott and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal have ordered mandatory evaluations along each state's eastern coasts as Hurricane Matthew nears. The storm is expected to start whipping Florida this evening, as it starts to move up the eastern seaboard of the United States. Scott was in Stuart on Thursday afternoon to address concerns as powerful Hurricane Matthews barreled toward Florida.
He said anyone living in low-lying areas or on barrier islands should "evacuate, evacuate, evacuate." Tolls have been lifted on all roadways to help make evacuations easier. Scott says more than 1.5 million people are living in evacuation zones.
The governor has activated another 1,000 National Guard members, bringing the total to 2,500. He says they'll be available to help with evacuations and getting people to shelters.
Meanwhile, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered mandatory evacuations along the entire Georgia coast as Hurricane Matthew approaches.
Deal said Thursday that everyone east of Interstate 95 should flee Georgia's six coastal counties - Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden. Those counties have a combined population of more than 522,000 people.
The governor had asked coastal residents to evacuate on a voluntary basis Wednesday. He called for mandatory evacuations as the National Hurricane Center placed all 100 miles of coastal Georgia under a hurricane warning Thursday.
Officials say powerful winds and heavy rains from Matthew could begin to arrive in coastal Georgia late Thursday. The storm is forecast to pass Saturday.
The Georgia coast hasn't seen a hurricane evacuation since a near-miss with Hurricane Floyd in 1999.