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Florida Governor: Evacuations May Be Ordered As Hurricane Matthew Gets Nearer

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Florida Governor Rick Scott says evacuations may be ordered Tuesday as Hurricane Matthew moves nearer to Florida.

"If you are on Florida's east coast, you should know today where you will go if you have to evacuate. If you are able to leave early and go now, before there is traffic, please go. No one should take any risks," said Scott.

The governor who has been meeting with emergency management officials on Tuesday is asking residents to take precautions ahead of a possible hit by the Category 4 hurricane.

"At this time, we cannot focus on the exact track of this storm. We know that it will be very close to our state and any small deviation from its track could mean a catastrophic change along Florida's east coast. That is why everyone in our state must prepare today for a direct hit," said Scott.

Counties on the East coast of the state are already talking about opening shelters within the next 24 hours, according to Scott.

If an evacuation is ordered, the governor urges residents to not waste time.

"If an evacuation is ordered for your area, leave immediately. First responders cannot rescue you once the storm hits," said Scott.

The Florida Department of Transportation is making sure roads are clear for those residents who plan on leaving if an evacuation is ordered for parts of the state.

As of 2 p.m., Palm Beach County was under Hurricane Watch.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for Broward, Miami-Dade County and the middle and upper Keys.

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