weather

Peter Haden / WLRN

As Hurricane Matthew passed Palm Beach County early Friday, residents camped out in the fifteen area shelters started packing up to go home. Some had additional cargo to pick up: their pets. 

“I think it went amazing” said Elizabeth Harfmann of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, who oversaw the Palm Beach County pet-friendly shelter at West Boynton Recreation Center. “Everybody was so courteous and so helpful. The animals were all pretty calm for such a high stress environment.”

Peter Haden / WLRN

Friday morning, the coast was clear.

“We’re going home,” said Altagrace Bonhomme, of Delray Beach, to her two daughters, Wilnise, 8, and Rebecca, 4.

“Yay!” said Wilnise, in white sandals and leopard-print pajama pants, holding her dog Delilah in the crux of her left arm.

Staying at a Palm Beach County shelter wasn’t too bad for the family, nor for Delilah. But they were anxious to get home.

“I don’t know what do expect,” said Bonhomme.

The family hopped into their minivan and made the short trip to suburban Delray Beach.

Making landfall Saturday, Hurricane Matthew brought floods and strong winds to South Carolina's Lowcountry region, pouring rain into an area that now faces a dangerous storm surge. As of 11 a.m. ET, the storm's center was around 55 miles south-southwest of Myrtle Beach.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Strong winds and flying debris from Hurricane Matthew caused outages to over 600,000 Florida Power & Light customers. But the company says customers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties should have power by the end of the day Friday, and Palm Beach County customers who don’t get power back Friday will have it Saturday.

 

Ramon Espinosa / AP

Rain fell across much of Cuba Thursday as the arduous task of recovering from Hurricane Matthew's devastating march across the island's easternmost tip cranked up.

In Baracoa, where some homes were reduced to tinder and the power grid was severely damaged, work brigades, communications crews and linesmen began arriving from Las Tunas, Camagüey and Guantànamo soon after high winds subsided on Wednesday. 

Members of the Cuban military also were helping remove boulders and other debris that made some roads impassable.

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Flooded construction sites were quiet and gas pumps were still wrapped in plastic throughout much of Broward County Friday morning. But many South Florida residents emerged from their cocoons and returned to work after Hurricane Matthew passed them by.

Matt Drudge, author of the conservative media site DrudgeReport.com, is being ridiculed over his tweets in advance of Hurricane Matthew's arrival in Florida.

Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning, the conservative firebrand took to Twitter to imply that the storm might not be as powerful as government officials say it is.

First he tweeted: "The deplorables are starting to wonder if govt has been lying to them about Hurricane Matthew intensity to make exaggerated point on climate."

FPREN

Hurricane Matthew was just offshore Florida's Space Coast Friday morning, downgraded to a Category 3 storm — still close and powerful enough to cause severe damage from wind and water to the Florida coast.

As of 11 a.m. of Friday, a hurricane warning remained in effect from Cocoa Beach to Surf City in North Carolina.  The area from Sebastian Inlet to Cocoa Beach has been downgraded to tropical storm warning. 

Rowan Moore Gerety / WLRN

Nearly 300 emergency management personnel reported for duty at the Broward County Emergency Operations Center Thursday—all expecting hot meals and working air conditioning along with high-speed internet and a clean place to use the bathroom.

There’s a whole team that contributes to that effort. The woman in charge is Adrienne Britto, who walks the floors with a green blouse and a keen eye for detail.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Matthew’s expected approach. He is urging all residents of Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach, as well as all residents who live in evacuation zones A and B, to evacuate as soon as possible.

Gov. Rick Scott put more than 1.5 million people under evacuation orders on the east coast Thursday in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. Many of them headed to Southwest Florida. Here's their story:  

Miami Herald

The National Weather Service has downgraded Broward County from a hurricane warning to a tropical storm warning. However, officials say there is still the potential for tropical storm-force winds until at least midnight.

“Our residents need to realize that we’re not out of the woods just yet," said Broward County Mayor Marty Kiar.

 

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP via Miami Herald

The post-hurricane news out of Haiti took a more tragic turn Thursday – as the government announced a death toll far higher than expected. As communication is regained with Haiti’s southwest, the awful reality is more apparent.

After Hurricane Matthew tore through Haiti’s rural southern peninsula on Tuesday, the country initially reported five fatalities. But that was largely because transportation to the hardest hit areas was cut off by a major bridge wash-out.

Peter Haden / WLRN

There were few cars driving on the streets of Lake Worth at mid-morning, but there were about two dozen people on the beach.

“I wanted to come by and check it out and see what the surf looked like,” said Lake Worth resident Peter Mannarino. “It’s getting rough!”

Ingrid Bonilla, also of Lake Worth, took a documentary approach.

 

“I wanted to see the beach before the bad weather comes,” Bonilla said. “I want to come back after the storm and see how it’s gonna look - a before-and-after picture.”

Thousands Without Power As Hurricane Matthew Moves Through

Oct 6, 2016
Associated Press

More than 10,000 customers in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties remained in the dark Thursday afternoon as Hurricane Matthew's outerbands whipped through the region, according to Florida Power & Light.

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