How Will Miami Be Affected By Hurricane Matthew? The City's Predicament Could Have Been Much Worse
You know a storm is dangerous when Walt Disney World closes for it. Early on Friday, Hurricane Matthew is expected to affect Miami, and around 2 million people have already been told to evacuate throughout Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia combined. Matthew is not a tropical storm to be taken lightly, especially seeing as the death toll in the Caribbean — and Haiti in particular — has reportedly surpassed 300 people. But what does the hurricane have in store for Miami-Dade County?
A lot of damage is to be expected in the county, but the storm is predicted to hit northern Florida much harder. More than 1.5 million people are under evacuation orders, and officials in impacted areas have expressed frustration towards some peoples' refusal to leave, NBC reported. “I’m not saying this to be theatrical,” one Florida sheriff, William Snyder, told NBC. “I asked my captain of detectives if he had body bags because if we get 140 mph winds in mobile home parks, we are going to have fatalities.”
While Miami seems to have escaped the worst damage of the storm, which is predicted to hit more of northern Florida, it is better to be safe than sorry. “We are already starting to see the impacts, and it’s a monster,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said about Matthew, as CBS reported. "Only a small deviation in the forecast track to the West could bring the center of the storm to us. The storm will kill you. We don’t have much time left."
“We should not put peoples lives at risk because you made the foolish decision not to evacuate," Scott said during the same address.
If you do leave Miami, you likely won't be able to make your exit on a plane. Flights coming in and out of Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and Palm Beach International Airport, have been canceled or delayed, the Weather Channel reported.
In line with the message to evacuate, Miami schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday, along with those in most other Florida counties, according to CBS. Furthermore, all inlet and Intracoastal Waterway bridges in Miami-Dade county have been closed by the Coast Guard. State offices in the county will also be closed. Shelters, however, will be accessible to the public in Miami.
The effects of the hurricane are already being seen. More than 65,000 people were without power Thursday night, according to Florida Power and Light, and during the same day, more than 90,000 FPL customers lost power at some point. Almost 10,000 were in Miami-Dade County. According to NBC, however, Miami missed the worst of the storm, as it skirted the coastline about 100 miles out, never actually making landfall in Southern Florida. Still, the county could experience high winds, so waiting to take that sigh of relief until Matthew has passed over the state couldn't be a bad idea.