Mosquito control and health officials are hoping mosquito prevention is on the minds of Floridians preparing for Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricanes can create perfect conditions for an explosion in mosquito populations.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Many Palm Beach County residents heeded warnings and spent Wednesday preparing for the worst.  Dave Palumbo dripped with sweat as he clambered to put up shutters on his business in downtown Lake Worth - Igot’s Martiki Bar. “You really can’t take anything for granted down here, so, we’re just getting ready.”  

Palumbo said he’s been through this before, but it had been a while since the last time he had to protect his business from strong winds and flying debris.

Palm Beach County

A mandatory evacuation order is in place for some Palm Beach County residents, effective immediately, as Hurricane Matthew continues moving towards Florida.

Cars lined the narrow street leading into Doral Central Park on Wednesday in order to receive sandbags from the Public Works Department of Doral, in collaboration with the Doral Police Department and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The handing out of sandbags is something the city does when they enter into a  tropical storm warning, said Maggie Santos, public relations coordinator for the city of Doral. The sandbags are meant to help protect residents and property against possible flooding. "This is an all-hands-on-deck sort of thing," Santos said.

Peter Haden / WLRN

South Florida pet owners evacuating their homes ahead of Hurricane Matthew can stay at a special shelter in Palm Beach County. The West Boynton Recreation Center opened Wednesday for owners to stay with their dogs, cats and pocket pets.

“We have a pet friendly shelter for people and their animals,” said Dr. Virginia Sayre, a veterinarian with Palm Beach County Care and Control. “They can bring their animals here during the storm. We put kitties in one section, doggies in another section and people in a third.”

National Hurricane Center

Haiti got hit hard by Hurricane Matthew yesterday. But next door to Florida, the Bahamas could get bruised just as badly tonight - especially since this is the worst storm the Bahamas’ main island has faced in 87 years.

U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody R. Babin

U.S. Coast Guard cutters from Miami, Jacksonville and as far north as Wilmington, N.C., as well as nine ships from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and research vessel Walton Smith have taken  refuge  in Key West as hurricane Matthew closes in on mainland. 

At least six Coast Guard cutters were moored at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector in Key West on Wednesday. 

On the other side of the island, nine ships from the Bahamas Defence Force, as well as a research vessel and a contract ship, took refuge at Naval Air Station Key West's Mole Pier.

Dieu Naleio Chery / AP via Miami Herald

The news from Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is certainly bad – especially on Haiti’s southwest peninsula. But it's perhaps not all as bad as it could have been for the rest of the western hemisphere's poorest country.

Matthew pounded southwest Haiti on Tuesday with winds of 145 miles per hour and more than 20 inches of rain. At least five deaths have been reported there - and low-lying cities like Les Cayes suffered catastrophic flooding that’s forced 15,000 people from their homes.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Sebastien Kamgang has been looking for water since Tuesday. Not long enough, though, to be willing to pay $1.49 a bottle at a Price Choice supermarket near downtown Miami. “That’s ridiculous!” he said, adding that another store he’d been to already was selling small bottles for twice that much. “It’s just crazy how the shelves are going so fast.” He left empty-handed.

Larry Miller / Flickr Creative Commons

Most major education institutions in South Florida announced closures in advance of  Hurricane Matthew's expected impact  on South Florida

Miami-Dade and Broward County Public Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday. Broward College announced the same. But as of Wednesday morning, Miami Dade College students were still waiting to find out if they would have classes. 

Students took to social media imploring the school to please close. 

Miami Herald

With Hurricane Matthew inching closer to Florida, the Miami-Dade school district announced Wednesday morning that schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday.

Middle school students will also be released early Wednesday, at 3 p.m. instead of 3:40 p.m., but elementary and high school students will still get out of class at the usual time. Wednesday is an early dismissal day in Miami-Dade, meaning that elementary school students finish class at 1:50 p.m. and high school students finish at 2:30 p.m.

Peter Haden / WLRN

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Broward County to Hurricane Watch status. Broward County Mayor Marty Kiar says residents should prepare now.

“We have a 75 percent chance on Thursday of being hit by tropical storm force winds, and a 15 percent likelihood of being hit by hurricane force winds,” Kiar said.


Broward County public schools have canceled all school activity Thursday and Friday. Wednesday after-school sports and activities are also canceled. Wednesday classes will take place as scheduled.


As of Wednesday evening, nearly eight million Floridians sit in Matthew's potential path under a hurricane or tropical storm warning. 

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

With the whole state on alert from Hurricane Matthew, it is important to know common hurricane terminology. The most important, and yet confusing, of which is the difference between a hurricane watch and warning.

In the simplest terms, if you are living in a county under a hurricane warning, you can expect hurricane conditions to affect your area. Whereas, if your county is under a hurricane watch, hurricane conditions are possible.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

On Tuesday evening as the sun set in a clear sky, shrimper Aaron Comegys tied a couple of extra lines between his boat, Hat Trick, and his slip at the Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove.

“We take everything that’s up top and put it down below,” said Comegys, who lives aboard a sailboat moored out in the bay—though he won’t be sleeping there if a storm comes through.

“I did Isaac back in 2012 on my boat and it sucked,” said Comegys. He was stuck for 36 hours after his skiff blew away and left him stranded with no way to get back to shore.