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HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – It’s begun. After days of waiting Hollywood residents watched as the first feeder bans from Hurricane Matthew washed over their city just after 11:30 a.m.

On Hollywood Beach, the normally quiet and still morning hours were transformed by the building breeze blowing through the palm trees and crashing surf.

As the rain came, the normally bustling Broadwalk emptied of the few people strolling along it. The popular beachside people watching spot was a ghost town, its only inhabitants were the city police officers who looking for people in the water and maintaining a watchful eye on the boarded up businesses.

It was a far different story Wednesday as people packed stores and gas stations, stocking up on the essentials and fuel for their vehicles and generators.

“I’m putting up shutters, putting everything away in the backyard, using tie straps to strap down everything,” said Robert Perez who ticked off a list of what he needed to complete.

Gerard Ascorra hit a Home Depot for what he needed.

“Water, trying to get batteries, candles,” said Ascorra.

As the scramble to get ready played out, some store shelves emptied and water sold out in many places. Some gas stations ran out of gas, while those that still had some saw long lines.

Everyone seemed to be taking the storm seriously.

“This one, I just feel we’re due and that’s the reason why I’m making sure everything is good because I feel we’re actually due,” said Wayne Lebert.

On Thursday, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said all flights were suspended at 10:30 a.m.  American Airlines has canceled all flights into Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach.


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