Officials worried about complacency as Matthew nears Florida

AP Photo
AP Photo/Mic Smith

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Matthew’s march toward South Florida has government officials worried that 11 years of storm avoidance has left many residents complacent and not taking their warnings to make preparations seriously.

The Category 3 storm, packing sustained winds of 125 mph, was moving toward the Bahamas early Wednesday with forecasters predicting it could near Florida’s Atlantic coast by Thursday evening. Forecasters warn that Matthew, only recently a Category 4 storm and at one point a dangerous Category 5, still remains a powerful storm despite a slight decrease in winds in recent hours.

Officials hope to avoid a repeat of Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina, which caused major damage to South Florida in 2005, and Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, leveled much of the city of Homestead in 1992.

Kay reported from Miami Beach.

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