The governors of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have ordered a State of Emergency for each of their respective states as Hurricane Matthew makes its way up the Southeast coast after battering Haiti and Cuba.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management said weather conditions will begin deteriorating in the late afternoon Wednesday and into the evening hours in South Florida as Hurricane Matthew approaches. The current category 3 storm is expected to move parallel to the Florida Coast on Thursday and Friday and if it continues on a westward track could bring hurricane conditions to many East Coast areas, FDEM said.
The hurricane is expected to bring a storm surge fueled by hurricane-force winds in excess of 100 mph along with a substantial amount of rain. At this time, flooding is an imminent threat to Florida’s eastern coast, according to a statement from Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
“Now is the time for Floridians to print and prepare their financial documents and insurance policies as part of their disaster-readiness plans,” said Atwater. “Finalize your preparation efforts today. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a proactive approach to your storm preparations.”
Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered evacuations for more than 1 million South Carolina residents, mostly in coastal areas, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning that mandatory evacuations in Brevard county will begin this afternoon. Voluntary evacuations have begun in Florida’s Lucie County, Flagler County, and Duval County.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said its regional offices in Atlanta in Philadelphia are monitoring Hurricane Matthew and are “in close coordination with state emergency managers and tribal officials, as well as our federal partners at the National Weather Service forecast offices.”
FEMA urged residents in potentially affected states – from Florida to the Mid-Atlantic – to familiarize themselves with evacuation routes now, prepare, and to take direction from state, local, and tribal officials.
South Carolina Insurance Director Ray Farmer and North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin also issued statements urging residents to prepare should they have a claim after the storm hits.
“It’s always better to be safe than sorry,” said Goodwin. “Compiling important documents and making a home inventory are simple things you can do right now to ease the insurance claims process should you suffer property damage or loss.”
Farmer issued a bulletin determining the licensure of temporary non-resident adjusters may be necessary in the aftermath of the storm.
“This determination is effective immediately and will continue until further notice from the South Carolina Department of Insurance,” the bulletin said.
This story is developing…
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