Posted: 3:41 am Friday, September 30th, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Strengthens To Cat 2 

By Ann Kelly

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New South Hurricane-Guide-Slider-WDUVMatthew has already strengthened to a Category Two Hurricane. It reached hurricane status just yesterday afternoon and right now is expected to still make a northerly turn, brushing the east coast of Florida. But that track can change and for updates throughout the weekend, check with the Dove Hurricane Center.

You’ll want to check ahead before heading to the beach. High levels of bacteria and algae have triggered health advisories for beaches in Clearwater and Caladesi in Pinellas County and for Ben T Davis in Hillsborough. You can log on to visitbeaches.org for updated information.

skimmerNew rules go into effect this Saturday aimed at protecting us from skimmers, like those that have been found at area gas stations. Starting Oct 1st, security seals must be on all pumps. Make sure you’re checking the pump before you gas up and let the station know there’s a problem.

President Obama signed a Florida disaster declaration on Wednesday, and that means federal dollars will are available for those affected by Hurricane Hermine. In the Bay area that include Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties and you can start applying for funds today. You can do that online, or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing- or speech-impaired.

Red Tide is still making for a stinky mess mainly along the beaches in Sarasota but it’s affecting the waters all the way up to Pinellas County. There’s a new red tide report out from Florida Fish and Wildlife and you can check how your beach is doing by going to visitbeaches.org.

jersey_1475167382390_6333621_ver1-0Someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey from the dugout at a memorial at Alonso High School Wednesday and the school wants it back, no questions asked. Fernandez died in a boating accident last weekend. This photo was courtesy of Hillsborough County Schools.