For release: Immediately
Contact: Public Affairs
Palm Beach County Prepares for
Effects of Hurricane Matthew
With sustained wind speeds of 145 MPH (Category 4), Hurricane Matthew is currently located approximately 600 miles southeast of Palm Beach County. Matthew is currently moving N at 10 MPH, and this general motion is forecast to continue through Wednesday night with a turn toward the north- northwest. The probability of Tropical Storm Force Winds affecting South Florida is approximately 75 percent and the probability of Hurricane Force Winds affecting South Florida is 20 to 25 percent; however, any shift in the forecast track can drastically change the probability of impacts to our area. South Florida can expect deteriorated marine conditions. Seas are predicted to be 8-12 feet near shore and 10-15 feet off shore. Palm Beach County continues to actively monitor the storm, is participating in daily State and National Weather Service conference calls, and communicating with our partners.
The next 24 hours will be critical; we cannot rule out hurricane impacts should the forecast of Hurricane Matthew continue to move west and increase the chances of hurricane force winds, therefore Palm Beach County is considering the following protective actions:
- evacuation orders for those residing in manufactured homes or coastal areas
- use PBCdart app or the evacuation tool at www.readypbc.org
- closure of facilities, beaches and parks
The Special Needs Shelter at the South Florida Fairgrounds will be opening on Wednesday at 2 P.M. Unless already registered, people with special medical needs should register for our Special Needs Program by calling (561) 712-6400 or visiting our website www.readypbc.org.
The Pet Friendly Shelter located at the West Boynton Recreation Center (east of Park Vista High School), 6000 Northtree Blvd., Lake Worth will open at 2 P.M. on Wednesday. The Pet Friendly Shelter is available to Palm Beach County residents residing in a mandatory evacuation zone or in mobile homes. Proof of residency is required. Space is limited and restrictions apply. Pet owners are required to stay at the shelter. Livestock and reptiles will not be accepted. Pets will be housed in a separate area from people. Pet owners will be given a schedule to attend to their animal’s needs.
General Population Shelters will open at 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday. Those shelters are:
Atlantic High School
Boynton Beach High School
Lakeshore Middle School
Forest Hill High School
Pahokee Middle School
Palm Beach Central High School
Palm Beach Gardens High School
Park Vista High School
A HURRICANE WATCH has been issued; it means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. This watch should trigger your family's disaster plan, and protective measures should be initiated especially those actions that require extra time such as securing a boat, leaving a barrier island, etc.
If a Hurricane Warning is issued, you may receive a wireless alert to your cell phone. A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected in the area within 36 hours.
For continuing information on Matthew, and for more information on the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management and hurricane preparedness, please visit our hurricane preparations page, follow us on Twitter @PBCDEM, @pbcgov and watch PBC-TV Channel 20. Also download our free mobile app "PBC DART" to stay informed on pre-storm preparation information. ?