Thousands without power as Matthew approaches Florida

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Below is an updated time-stamp of news, events and other happenings related to Hurricane Matthew.

If you want to report price gouging:
Those with a Florida area code: Call 866-966-7226
Those without a Florida area code: Complete this form

10:49 p.m.
Hurricane Matthew is currently a Category 4 but is expected to weaken to a Category 3 before hitting Florida.
The storm is about 125 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral with 130 mph winds and moving at 13 mph.

Tropical Storm Nicole is now a Category 2 Hurricane.

10:35 p.m.
Hurricane Matthew continues to move towards South Florida, bringing hurricane and tropical storm conditions to most of the state.

9:15 p.m.
A list of the number of power outages in each county, according to FPL:

  • Indian River 2,610
  • Brevard 2,350
  • St. Lucie 6,430
  • Okeechobee 140
  • Martin 9,280
  • Palm Beach 41,570
  • Broward 11,210
  • Miami-Dade 16,400
  • Collier 180
  • Hendry 10
  • Glades 0
  • Lee 1,890
  • Charlotte 210
  • DeSoto 0
  • Sarasota 130
  • Volusia 3,280

9:03 p.m.

Haiti’s death toll rises to 283 people, according to a Haitian Interior Ministry official.

7:56 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center has discontinued the tropical storm watch that had covered most of Southwest Florida since Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are down to 130 mph as of the hurricane center’s 8 p.m. advisory, with the storm centered over the western end of Grand Bahama Island and moving northwest at 13 mph.

The tropical storm warning in effect for Chokoloskee eastward has also been discontinued, but Lake Okeechobee remains under a hurricane warning.

A tropical storm watch is still in effect from Englewood northward.


7:53 p.m.

Gov. Rick Scott is urging Southwest Floridians to help their east coast neighbors.

7:48 p.m.

The storm’s impact on Haiti is coming into greater focus.

7:43 p.m.

Friday classes are canceled at Florida SouthWestern State College’s Hendry/Glades Curtis Center, the school announced. However, classes will go on as scheduled at the other FSW campuses.

7:34 p.m.

Lines stretched out into the street as customers waited for gas at stations Thursday in Lee County, and one Cape Coral station sold 800 gallons in 30 minutes.

7:29 p.m.

Gov. Rick Scott, speaking at a press conference, urged residents to prepare to be without state or federal assistance for three days while response teams work to get to all of those affected.

7:24 p.m.

Gov. Rick Scott says he won’t extend Tuesday’s deadline for voter registration despite the state of emergency declaration, which would allow him to do so.

7:19 p.m.

Authorities are asking residents to remove debris and decorations from their lawns to limit damage from strong winds.

7:18 p.m.

Officials are urging Florida residents not to try to surf as Matthew bears down.

7:13 p.m.

Collier County rescue officials are headed out to prepare for storm recovery.

7:03 p.m.

Southwest Florida Salvation Army volunteers are heading to the east coast to assist those in harm’s way.

6:51 p.m.

In addition to Glades, Hendry, Highlands and several other Florida counties, South Carolina is now under a federal state of emergency, President Obama announced.

6:38 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers have closed the Moore Haven lock on the Caloosahatchee River, and the Ortona lock will close at 10 p.m. Thursday., a Hendry County spokesperson said.

6:35 p.m.

The Florida attorney general’s office has received 1,800 price-gouging complaints as Hurricane Matthew approaches. If you suspect price gouging, call 1-866-966-7226.

6:19 p.m.

Hendry County has opened shelters at the Clewiston Middle School gym, 601 E. Osceola Ave., and the LaBelle Middle School gym, 8000 E. Cowboy Way. No pets are allowed, but service animals are permitted, county officials said.

Voluntary evacuations of low-lying and flood-prone areas in the county have begun.

6:17 p.m.

Southwest Florida-based members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force are deploying to help those in need.

6:04 p.m.

Gas stations are running dry in Lee County.

6:00 p.m.

Punta Gorda resident Rhonda Barnes is opening her home to people fleeing the storm, and other Southwest Floridians are following suit. If you need a place to stay, call Barnes at 941-961-2224.

5:55 p.m.

St. Matthew’s House is asking the public to drop off pillows, blankets and both fitted and standard sheets for twin-size beds at its shelter on 2001 Airport Road South in Naples.

5:47 p.m.

At the Kennedy Space Center in central Florida, NASA and the private company SpaceX are taking precautions to protect their capsules and rockets.

SpaceX has been counting on Kennedy’s historic Launch Complex 39A to get its rockets flying again, hopefully in November.

SpaceX’s pad at neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was damaged Sept. 1 when a Falcon rocket exploded during prelaunch testing.

NASA, meanwhile, has secured a new Orion capsule currently in development in a secure Kennedy building designed to withstand sustained wind of 114 mph and gusts of 125 mph. The capsule will be used to launch astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is closed Thursday and Friday, with a 116-person ride-out crew on duty to help keep things safe.

The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station also was closed to nonessential personnel.

— The Associated Press

5:42 p.m.

Evacuees are arriving at Lee County shelters.

5:36 p.m.

The National Football League says it’s making contingency plans in case this weekend’s Titans-Dolphins and Bucs-Panthers games need to be called off.

5:27 p.m.

Charlotte County schools will remain open Friday, the district announced.

5:25 p.m.

WINK News chief meteorologist Jim Farrell explains the latest forecast cone and has the latest on the storm.

5:13 p.m.

The latest forecast cone shows Matthew taking a nearly circular path, though all of the model plots don’t agree that the storm will arc in quite this fashion.


5:06 p.m.

Lee County schools will be open Friday as long as Matthew doesn’t make a major change in course, the district said. Extracurricular activities for Friday night are still on, too.

4:50 p.m. 

Sustained winds remain at 140 mph in the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. advisory for Matthew. The storm is about 100 miles east-southeast of West Palm Beach and moving northwest at 13 mph.

This general motion is expected to continue tonight with a turn toward the north-northwest early Friday. Matthew should move near or over Freeport in the Bahamas in the next hour or so, and move close to or over the east coast of the Florida on Friday, the hurricane center,


4:46 p.m.

Charlotte County has set up a pet-friendly shelter for those fleeing from the east coast at the Harold Avenue Park Recreation Center, 23400 Harold Ave., county officials said. The rec center is closed for normal day-to-day operations.

4:40 p.m.

Collier County schools will be open Friday, barring major changes in Matthew’s path, the school district said.

4:33 p.m.

Several events scheduled for the City of Fort Myers have been canceled:

  • Ward 2 Community Meeting, Riverside Community Center
  • Woodturners of SWFL, Riverside Community Center
  • Bushi Kan Martial Arts Kendo class, Riverside Community Center
  • Wild Pottery & Oil Painting, Riverside Community Center
  • All Outdoor Volleyball Leagues, Centennial Park & Golfview Pool

The Riverside Community Center will close at 5 p.m. and the STARS Complex will close at 6 p.m., the city said. The Fort Myers Aquatics Center and Golfview Pool will be closed Friday, and the free movie in Jefferson Park originally set for Friday has been rescheduled for Friday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

4:19 p.m.

The Bahamas are getting nailed.

4:15 p.m.

All Parks and Recreation facilities in Cape Coral will be closing at 7 p.m. Thursday, with the exception of Yacht Club Community Park, which will stay open until 9:30 for a scheduled event, the city said.

4:08 p.m.

Collier County rescue workers are headed to Fort Myers and then Sebring, where they’ll be dispatched to assist efforts in areas ravaged by Matthew.


3:58 p.m.

Saturday’s Florida-LSU football game has been postponed, the schools announced. No makeup date has been announced. Two of this week’s high school football games involving Southwest Florida teams — Port Charlotte at Sebring and Clewiston at Miami Monsignor Pace, have also been called off, according to multiple reports.

3:50 p.m.

Charlotte County commissioners approved a local state of emergency, which allows for the distribution of special funding. However, all Charlotte County government offices will remain open, and school is still set to go on Friday, commissioners said.

3:43 p.m.

State government offices in DeSoto, Glades, Hendry and Highlands counties will be closed Friday, the governor’s office said.

3:36 p.m.

Meteorologist Scott Zedeker has the latest on the storm.

3:15 p.m.

Gov. Scott talks about preparations for Matthew, and meteorologist Scott Zedeker has the latest on the storm.

3:03 p.m.

Gas shortages are affecting Lee County.

2:34 p.m.

Disney World is closing at 5 p.m. Thursday and will remain closed Friday. It’s just the fourth time since the park opened 45 years ago that it will be closed.

2:14 p.m.

The Sanibel Recreation Center, 3880 Sanibel Captiva Road in Sanibel, will close at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sanibel city officials said.

2:12 p.m.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center, 1495 Smith Preserve Way in Naples, will be closed Friday and Saturday, center officials said. Normal operating hours will resume at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

2:04 p.m.

Gov. Scott has activated an additional 1,000 National Guard troops, bringing the total to 3,500, the governor’s office said.

“While the federal government has just approved our request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for food, water and tarps, I am asking the President for additional generators and pumps to help with power outages and flooding once the storm hits,” Scott said. “Following the most recent weather briefing from the National Hurricane Center, we can expect to have a lot of flooding, especially in Northeast Florida, and we will need additional pumping equipment from the federal government.”

1:50 p.m.

Matthew’s sustained winds remain at 140 mph and the storm is still moving northwest at 14 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. intermediate advisory.  Matthew is now 125 miles southeast of West Palm Beach.

1:48 p.m.

President Obama fulfilled Gov. Rick Scott’s request for a federal state of emergency in Glades, Hendry, Highlands and several other Florida counties, the president’s office announced. The measure allows the areas access to special funding.

Baker, Brevard, Broward, Citrus, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Hernando, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia are the other Florida counties covered.

1:38 p.m.

It’s business as usual at Southwest Florida International Airport, where Matthew isn’t affecting any flights at this point.


1:31 p.m.

The death toll in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew has risen to at least 108, The Associated Press reports.

1:14 p.m.

The David Lawrence Center mental health facility has canceled all evening groups at its locations in Naples and Immokalee scheduled for after 5:00 p.m. Thursday. The Immokalee Satellite office will also close at 5:00 p.m. Crossroads Residential and Detox, Emergency Services, and the Crisis Stabilization Units will remain open.

1:10 p.m.

The City of Marco Island is urging residents to stay in a secure building tonight and avoid mobile homes, recreational vehicles or vessels. The city is also advising residents to stay clear of power poles and power lines.

12:54 p.m.

FEMA teams are on scene.

12:40 p.m.

The Southwest Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team will go to parts of Florida to help with Matthew related recovery, according to a program manager for the Southwest Florida USAR Florida Task Force 6 (FL-TF6).

12:22 p.m.

Extracurricular activities for Charlotte County have been canceled for Thursday, the school district announced. However, the district still plans to have school Friday.

12:14 p.m.

The Florida Everblades’ preseason game Friday against the Orlando Solar Bears has been canceled, the Everblades announced. It will not be made up. Saturday’s preseason game between the teams, set for 7 p.m., is still on.

Those who purchased tickets for Friday’s preseason game may receive a refund and/or exchange those tickets for any Everblades 2016-17 regular season game or for Saturday’s game. Refunds and exchanges must be made at the point of sale.

12:06 p.m.

I-95 is normally full of traffic at this hour. Not today.

12:02 p.m.

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Alico Arena, 10501 FGCU Blvd in San Carlos Park, is being converted into a shelter.

Photo via Florida Gulf Coast University

11:56 a.m.

Meteorologist Scott Zedeker has the latest on Matthew via Facebook Live.

11:38 a.m.

Gas stations in Clewiston have begun to run out of gas, with bags over the pumps and cars waiting in line at multiple locations.

11:33 a.m.

Some residents in Naples are concerned about ongoing flooding on Ridge Street. Matthew is not expected to be a rainmaker, but a problem clearly already exists.

Viewer-submitted photo
Viewer-submitted photo


11 a.m.

Winds have increased to 140 mph, making Matthew a Category 4 Hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. advistory

Matthew is moving northwest at 14 mph and is about 180 miles Southeast of Palm Beach.

A hurricane warning has been extended northward to Edisto Beach, South Carolina, the report said. Most of Southwest Florida remains under a tropical storm watch.

9:59 a.m.

Gov. Rick Scott activated an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to aid with Hurricane Matthew, a press release said.

9:35 a.m.

Lee County declared a local state of emergency to open shelters for those coming from the east coast of Florida, a Lee County official said.

The shelters are located at the Alico Arena at 10501 FGCU Blvd in San Carlos Park, and Estero Recreation Center — a pet friendly shelter– at 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd. in Estero.

8:30 a.m.

The DeSoto County School District will be closed Friday, a district official said.

8 a.m.

Gov. Rick Scott holds a press conference providing updates on Matthew and stressed the high wind speeds and the need for evacuation for parts of Florida that may be hit.

“If you aren’t going to evacuate, these numbers should scare you. The east coast from Palm Beach northward, you will likely see winds between 100 and 150 miles per hour. Think about that. 100 to 150 miles per hour,” Scott said. “These catastrophic levels can wipe out well built homes and destroy neighborhoods.”

6:19 a.m.

People are preparing for this storm in Clewiston, with shelters opening at 8 a.m., WINK News Reporter Kristin Sanchez said.

5:41 a.m.

WINK News Therese O’Shea gives you some storm travel tips from the Florida Highway Patrol.

5 a.m.

Matthew remains a Category 3 Hurricane with wind speeds at 125 mph. It is moving 65 miles south-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center reports.

In addition, Matthew is 225 miles southeast of West Palm Beach.

The forecast cone has moved closer to the east coast of Florida, computer models report, and are anticipating Matthew making landfall in Cape Canaveral, with winds between 110-130 mph, WINK Meteorologist Matt Devitt said.

The cone has spread as far west as Lake Okeechobee, and as far east as 50 to 70 miles offshore.

Some areas of Southwest Florida are under a tropical storm watch, with with wind gusts up to 40 mph. For Thursday, wind gusts are expected to be between 5 and 10 mph.

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