Bay Area breathes sigh of relief in wake of Hurricane Matthew

Shayla Reaves reports

- The Bay Area breathed a sigh of relief Friday morning as the damage from Hurricane Matthew appears to be minimal.

The impact includes numerous trees down, debris blocking roads and bridges, and widespread power outages. Power outages could potentially last more than a week.

Governor Scott warned citizens this morning to watch out for and avoid downed power lines.

The Bay Area experienced gusts of wind up to 40 mph early Friday as Hurricane Matthew moved up Florida's east coast.

Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties all remain under a tropical storm warning. Pasco closed its shelter as of 10 a.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph and occasional storm bands with 40 to 45 mph wind gusts, similar to summer thunderstorms, to impact Pinellas County until noon on Friday.

LINK:Matthew maps & models on MyFoxHurricane.com

Watches and warnings were canceled in Hardee, Desoto, Inland Sarasota, and Inland Manatee counties. No flooding, storm surge, or heavy rains are expected. Peak wind is forecasted at 15-25 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Schools are remaining closed for 24 hours.

Polk County experienced widespread power outages Friday morning, but no significant damage. They plan to begin closing shelters later Friday afternoon. Crews have already begun clearing the roads of debris.

Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight with the strongest winds of 120 mph just offshore as the storm pushed north around dawn, threatening more than 500 miles of coastline in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. A 107 mph gust was recorded in Cape Canaveral.

SCHOOLS: Bay Area school closings
SANDBAGS: County-by-county sandbag locations
SHELTERS: List of open shelters

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