Broward County mayor says time to 'hunker down' until Hurricane Matthew passes

Mayor Marty Kiar wants residents to stay off roads during storm

PLANTATION, Fla. – Broward County Mayor Marty Kiar said all drivers should stay off the roads beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday as conditions were expected to worsen as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

Kiar made the announcement during an afternoon news conference.

"If it's after 3 p.m., stay where you are, no longer evacuate, because we expect that conditions will worsen after that time," Kiar said.

Kiar said first responders may have a difficult time getting to drivers on the roads during hazardous conditions.

Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue officials responded to a car accident Thursday afternoon after a car hydroplaned off the road at 900 HIllsboro Mile into the Intracoastal.

BSO Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said the driver told authorities that she was surfing in Pompano Beach and she was on her way to catch "better waves" in Deerfield Beach.

The 33-year-old woman was not injured.

Jachles said the crash is an example of why drivers need to heed the warning to stay off the roads.

Earlier in the day, Kiar warned residents that hazardous conditions from Matthew were coming soon, and now is the time to "hunker down" until the storm passes.

Local 10 News reporter Todd Tongen was in downtown Fort Lauderdale Thursday night and met some boat owners who chose to ride out the storm on their vessels.

"It's very safe. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't," one man said.

The boat owner said he and his wife have stayed on their 75-foot boat before during storms and have taken necessary precautions.

"Our rule has always been, if it's over 100 mph, stay out of the way," he said. "There's absolutely nothing you can do and you're only putting yourself at risk."

Kiar said garbage and bulk trash pickup have been suspended, so he asked anyone with bulk trash in front of their homes to please secure it or bring it inside.

The mayor said he wants visitors who feel safe inside their hotels to stay there or with friends and family until the storm passes.

"Our visitors' health and safety is just as important to us as our residents' health and safety," Kiar said.

Kiar said Florida Power & Light predicts widespread outages in Broward County, but he said the utility company has deployed an extra 10,000 workers throughout the state to help restore power after the storm.

Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Fernandez said firefighters and paramedics are ready to face the challenges posed by Matthew.

Fernandez warned that most injuries and deaths occur after a storm.

"Heed the advice and stay off the roads," he said.

Fernandez also said to use flashlights instead of candles for illumination. He also said not to use generators and charcoal grills inside.

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