By David Sutta

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COCOA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Tornado chasers are out along the Space Coast as the area sees tropical storm force winds as Hurricane Matthew moves north.

A storm surge is expected to hit around 3:00 a.m. and residents are urged to remain indoors.

A mandatory evacuation of Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach went into effect early Thursday morning. As of Thursday night, roughly 2,600 people were without power in Brevard County.

Many businesses and homes on the barrier island have been boarded up, sand bags placed in front of many entrance ways.

CBS4’s David Sutta spoke with one resident who was watching the shoreline, enjoying the calm before the storm.

“Just try to enjoy seeing it for the last time, because things are gonna change, this is gonna change everything. People don’t realize that. If you live here, you know it, this is all gonna change,” he said. “Once this tides roll in, you get that storm surge, it’s gonna change.”

Stein told Sutta he has lived through storms before and plans to stay through Matthew. However, he said he was surprised how many others were doing the same as him.

“It’s just gonna be atrocious out here. Hopefully people stay home and they boarded up their windows and stuff like that,” Stein said.

Emergency management officials said some parts of Brevard County could see up to 12 inches of rain along with several feet of storm surge.

Approximately 400 people have already taken to shelters for safety.  There are 15 shelters open and emergency managers expect them to fill up.

Tropical storm force winds should reach the area late Thursday and hurricane force winds of up to 130 mph into Friday morning.


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