Broward Residents Making Last-Second Preps Ahead Of Matthew

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PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – Some Broward residents were up before dawn to fuel up ahead of Hurricane Matthew, while others might be up well past midnight to finish final preps.

The most important prepper is the Broward County Emergency Operations Center, which will be at full capacity starting at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Related: Broward Shelters Open Wednesday Evening

At a Chevron gas station on Pine Island Road in Plantation, a steady stream of vehicles lined up for gas. Many stations ran out of gas on Tuesday and some were only able to offer plus or premium.

William Freund, who has been trying to fill up his vehicle and nine gas cans since Tuesday afternoon, hit pay dirt Wednesday morning.

“I filled up a little bit yesterday, I got about four of them (gas cans) yesterday, and I just went to two other gas stations and they were both out of gas, so we came over here,” he said.

Robert Stephen III said he skipped the gas station late Tuesday because the lines were so long. Wednesday morning he paid for that decision.

“I came by and said ‘Oh my goodness!,'” said Stephen. “But you gotta do it. You can’t move these vehicles without motion lotion.”

Some still have a long hurricane to-do list.

“Going to go put up the shutters… put away everything in the backyard using tie straps to strap everything down,” Robert Perez said.

And others thought they we’re finished.

“We tried to start our generator up and found out that it was crystallized,” Wayne Lebert said. “That was a couple of hours ago, so we tried to come and find a generator.”

Gordon Mainor, who recently moved to South Florida from New Jersey, has never experienced the effects of a major hurricane.

“It’s the first one. I see everybody packing up, getting ready. So, let’s see what happens. Kids out of school Thursday and Friday,” said Mainor.

When told that Matthew was forecast to be a monster Category 4 hurricane when it approached Florida, Mainor seemed to take it in stride.

“They say it is, but I don’t think it’s gonna be that big,” said Mainor.

And just three blocks from the ocean, Mark Lipinski has been through this drill of shuttering his home too many times to count. Still, he understands Hurricane Matthew is too big a storm to ignore.

“Right now I’m not too concerned… but I want to take all the precautions tonight,” he said.

In addition to gas, bottled water and plywood for shutters were in hot demand.

Businesses have been boarding up to protect glass windows and doors from flying debris.

“It would be silly, irresponsible not to take the necessary steps to get things ready to go,” said Rick Musica. “Yesterday the owners decided we needed to get it ready and not take any chances.”

Many parents who dropped their kids off at school were in a hurry to finish up their last minute prep list.

“Well, I have to make the best of today. I’m somewhat prepared but today we’re gonna go around and get some stuff to be more prepared for the storm,” said Richard Powell.

Provisions at grocery stores varied across the county. The demand for water, charcoal and batteries left some stores with empty shelves.

“I got here about 7:30 a.m. and it wasn’t too bad. Parking lot wasn’t too full,” said Camille Nadeau at a Publix. “I went through Wilma and that was bad. So, you know, you don’t take anything for granted. You gotta prepare.”

In Hallandale Beach, residents are filling sandbags in preparation for possible flooding.

CBS4 meteorologist Lissette Gonzalez says Wednesday is the last good day to fuel up and get your last minute supplies.

Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area in Florida by late Thursday, with tropical storm conditions expected by early Thursday. Tropical storm conditions should reach the tropical storm warning area in Florida by early Thursday.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon Broward Mayor Marty Kiar asked nearly 150,000 residents who live in low-lying areas, mobile homes or along the coastline to evacuate before Hurricane Matthew approaches. Kiar said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that 10 shelters would open at area schools at about 9 p.m. He also asked tourists to either stay in their hotels, with family or friends or go to a shelter.

CBS4’s Hank Tester caught up with displaced pet owners who now have a temporary home thanks to the Broward Humane Society.

The Red Cross, Broward County and the Humane Society teamed up to make things as comfortable as possible for man and women’s best friend.

They converted the gymnasium at Millennium Middle School in Tamarac to handle dogs, cats and birds. However, large animals are a no-no.

“If you feel you are in an uncomfortable situation in your home… you do not feel safe. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet, then please come to the shelter,” said Sharon Carmichael.

The shelter will be open through the duration of the hurricane, but it is advised you get there early Thursday as you and your pet do not want to be caught on the street in tropical or hurricane force winds.

The Broward County Call Center, 311, is now open 24/7 as an Emergency Hotline to answer resident’s questions.


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