The latest National Hurricane Center’s advisory suggests Flagler County residents will feel the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Expected to remain offshore, the powerful storm will effect a broad area.
PALM COAST, FL – October 1, 2016 – Yesterday, Flagler County Emergency Management issued a weather advisory, urging Flagler County residents to prepare for the expected arrival of Hurricane Matthew during the upcoming week. Since the advisory, Matthew has strengthened. The National Hurricane Center’s 11:00 A.M. update ranks Matthew as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 MPH. The projected cone has shifted slightly westward from yesterday’s model, bringing Florida’s east coast into play. The hurricane is expected to be abreast of Florida with winds of 110 – 115 MPH during the fourth and fifth day of the forecast cone.
5-Day Forecast Cone
Models generally agree on the path over the first three days of the forecast period, but vary significantly during days four and five, making Flagler County’s prospects uncertain. But the storm is expected to be both strong and broad, effecting an area well beyond the storm’s center. Flagler County residents should expect potentially heavy rains, wind and heavy surf by mid-week.
Flagler County Weather Alert
September 30, 2016 – Flagler County Emergency Management is monitoring the path of Hurricane Matthew and recommends that residents shore up their individual hurricane plans and provisions over the weekend.
“It’s too early to tell exactly what path Matthew will travel,” said Flagler County Public Safety Emergency Manager Steve Garten. “We will have much better information by Monday, but we strongly encourage everyone to double check their emergency plans while we still have blue skies.”
It is unlikely that Flagler County will feel any impacts before Wednesday, and it is still unknown what Matthew will send to Florida’s east coast. Building surf and rip currents are the projected threat to the area at this time.
At home preparations should include a pantry that is stocked with a week’s worth of non-perishable foods and juices; a gallon of water per person per day; a manual can opener and cooking foods and utensils; disposable plates and plasticware; medicines – including prescription drugs; flashlights and batteries; and, a manual or battery operated weather radio.
“Make sure those canned goods are things that you and your family will eat,” Garten said. “Have some comfort foods on hand too, especially if you have children. Don’t forget to have supplied for your pets, too.”
Reduce the risk of water entering the home by making sure that windows and doors have proper caulking and weather stripping. Package valuable documents such as: titles, deeds, insurance papers, bonds, in waterproof containers for safekeeping.
“It’s also a good idea to fill the tank of your car,” said County Administrator Craig Coffey. “Even if we aren’t hit hard, bad weather in other areas could slow the delivery of commodities like gasoline.”
Garten also recommends knowing if you live in an evacuation zone as determined from storm surge models provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Go to flagleremergency.com for more information.
“The decision to evacuate a zone is based on the track and intensity of the specific storm,” Garten said. “We will make sure everyone knows if and when they need to evacuate.”
All residents along the U.S. east coast should monitor Matthew's progress (using the following links) and prepare accordingly.