Thousands still without power, cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew

Thousands of Floridians are still without power more three days after Hurricane Matthew skirted up the east coast with 100 mph winds and torrential rain.

Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light were reporting more than 75,000 customers without power across the state this morning. More than half of those were just in Volusia County — the hardest hit area in Central Florida.

Downed trees and power lines, along with localized flooding were a common sight throughout Central Florida. Communities closer to the coast also saw roof and building damage, along with severe beach erosion.

Volusia and Brevard county schools remain closed today as crews work to restore power and repair any damage. Volusia County has also canceled classes for Tuesday. Brevard officials said they decide later today about reopening on Tuesday.

Officials had hoped to restore most, if not all power to Volusia County residents by Sunday, but as of this morning more than 41,000 customers were still in the dark. The beaches there remain closed because of strong rip currents and possible debris in the water.
Crews also need to repair several access ramps and replace signs and lifeguard towers before reopening to vehicle traffic. Officials plan to reopen the beaches in sections, starting with the high-usage areas.

Most major roads in Volusia were cleared of debris by Saturday and power had started to return to the larger intersections along International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach by that evening.