By Joan Murray

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DEERFIELD BEACH (CBSMiami) – Deerfield Beach officials announced most city operations will remain closed on Friday as Hurricane Matthew keeps chugging north.

People spent Thursday morning making their final preparations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

In Deerfield Beach, residents waited in long lines at the Public Works Department for sand bags that were being given away to help protect homes and businesses from potential flooding.

“I’ve been here since 8 o’clock when it first started, but it’s worth it,” said Valeria, who at the time had been in line for over two hours.

“How destructive it could possibly be and how many people could be in harm’s way,” Valeria said when asked what she was fearing most from Hurricane Matthew. “As far as for my house, I was happy to get these [sand] bags because my patio is kinda low, so it’s a great help.”

At city’s famous oceanside pier, a handful of people came to pictures of the crashing surf.

Brett, a Deerfield Beach resident, came out to take one last look at the pier and ocean after he got finished his preps.

“The house is all boarded up, we got tons of water, we fueled up our cars, so we’re just out here taking a quick look to see my favorite restaurants before they possibly disappear and we’re heading back in a few minutes because it’s going to get rough out here,” he said.

Brett added that he hoped his oceanside favorites weren’t damaged because he was planning on coming by for brunch on Sunday. He said during Super Storm Sandy it was close.

“During Super Storm Sandy the water came right up to the restaurants and took most of the beach away. Most of the pier got damaged at the end. Honestly, that one was a lot farther out to sea and it gave us a nice scare. This one is going to be much closer so I’m definitely concerned about what’s going to happen around here,” he said.

Deerfield Beach handful of people running around on the sand as rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew began hitting the coast.

At around 3 p.m., the weather took a turn for the worse and some remaining stragglers on the beach ran for cover.

But that didn’t last for long.

During his live report, CBS4’s Hank Tester noted several more people were making their way back out to the sands.

On the way up to Deerfield Beach, Tester noticed there were still plenty of cars on the road even though Broward officials had temporarily shut down the highway.

He also said a few service stations were up and running – and, surprisingly, still pumping gas.

Even though squalls and battering winds will move over the area throughout the night, conditions will start to improve on Friday.


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