Matthew’s projected track shifts westward toward Florida

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 4 storm as of 11 p.m., though winds are down slightly to 140 mph and the forecast track has shifted a few miles to the west.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of Florida’s east coast, including Lake Okeechobee. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Hendry County, Glades and inland Collier. A hurricane watch is still in effect on the east coast from Golden Beach to the Volusia/Brevard County line. A tropical storm warning is now in effect from the seven-mile bridge in the Keys northward to south of Golden Beach.


In addition, Tropical Storm Nicole has formed with wind speeds of 50 mph, but it is no threat to land.

While there is a possibility for a direct impact in Southwest Florida, it is unlikely because the storm’s eye is not forecast to make landfall over the region.

County officials throughout Florida are considering whether to issue local state of emergencies. In DeSoto County, commissioners met to discuss their own declaration after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state-wide state of emergency ahead of the hurricane. Hendry County has issued a local state of emergency for Oct. 5 at 6 a.m.

The following counties have been put under a tropical storm watch as of Oct. 4 at 2 p.m.:

  • Glades County: Palmdale, Moore Haven and Brighton Seminole
  • Hendry County: LaBelle, Devils Garden, Big Cypress Seminole Reservation
  • Inland Collier County: Golden Gate, Immokalee, Ave Maria

A tropical storm storm watch means that these counties could endure tropical storm level winds within the next two days. Hendry County officials are asking people to make sure they are prepared. The county is providing sandbags on Wednesday at noon and are urging residents to bring their own shovels. Sandbags can be picked up from the following locations:

  • City of Clewiston Maintenance Yard, 1300 S. Olympia Ave.
  • LaBelle Rodeo Grounds, 100 Rodeo Dr.

Hendry County officials will announce any school closures on Wednesday after 2 p.m. In Lee County, the school district is monitoring the storm but school is still in session until further notice. There has been no word of closures in other county school districts.

Gov. Scott spoke at multiple press conferences regarding Hurricane Matthew and emphasized the danger this storm may present.

“If Matthew directly impacts Florida, there will be massive destruction that we haven’t seen in years,” Scott said.
Gov. Scott underscored the need for expedient preparation, and even evacuation, if necessary.

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