Obama on Hurricane Matthew: ‘This is Still a Really Dangerous Hurricane’

Heavy waves caused by Hurricane Matthew pounds the boat docks at the Sunset Bar and Grill, October 7, 2016 on Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Barack Obama reacted to the news that Hurricane Matthew didn’t hit Southern Florida as heavily as officials expected, but warns the hurricane is still dangerous.

“I think the bigger concern at this point is not just hurricane force winds, but storm surge,” Obama said Friday morning, addressing reporters in the Oval Office after receiving a briefing from FEMA and DHS officials.

Obama reminded Americans that the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy in 2012 affected people in the Northeast after they thought the storm was over.

“I just want to emphasize to everybody that this is still a really dangerous hurricane, that the potential for storm surge, flooding, loss of life and severe property damage continues to exist,” he said.

He urged Americans to follow directions from local officials about whether or not to evacuate their homes as the slow-moving storm continued up the East coast.

“Do not be a holdout here, because we can always replace property but we can’t replace lives,” Obama said.