Evacuations in effect for Florida’s East Coast

For those in evacuation zones, governor says there is no excuse not to evacuate

PALM BEACH SHORES, Fla. (WFLA) – Mandatory evacuations for parts of Palm Beach County, Florida are underway as Hurricane Matthew bears down. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for almost the entire east coast of Florida.

County emergency management officials advise anyone who lives near the coast to leave. Those in mobile homes or substandard housing are also urged to get out.

Winds are projected to gust up to 145 miles per hour, meteorologists say. The storm surge could also present a problem.

On Wednesday, residents and business owners boarded up their homes and buildings, especially those near water.

“The elevation of my front door is two-feet below sea level,” said resident Brandon Gardner. “Everyone on this block is concerned about storm surge. I think we’ll be okay. Flooding is a big concern.”

Many hotels and motels on Singer Island have already closed. At the Seaspray Inn and Beach Resort, workers are preparing to shut the doors around 10:00 a.m. Thursday. The main bridge onto the island will close at noon, police said.

Schools in Palm Beach County are closed Thursday and Friday, according to the school district.

The governor said there is absolutely no excuse not to evacuate if you live in an evacuation zone and an evacuation order is issued. He also said that it could be hard to leave the area if you wait to evacuate.

Tolls have been suspended for the entire Florida Turnpike, Alligator Alley, Central Florida Expressway Authority and Miami-Dade Expressway Authority as evacuations are ongoing.