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Radar shows birds trapped in the eye of Hurricane Matthew

A huge flock of birds is trapped in the eye of Hurricane Matthew.

Glenn Burns, chief meteorologist with WSB-TV in Atlanta, pointed out a small green dot in the eye of Hurricane Matthew on weather radar Thursday.

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“Here is the eye of the storm and inside the eye the air is calm and the sky is clear,” said Burns. “Those are seagulls and birds that are flying inside the eye of the storm trying to escape the strongest part of the storm which is in the north and north-eastern center of it.”

Birds riding along in the eye of a hurricane is a common phenomena, according to Kenn Kaufman, Birding expert and field editor for Audubon. He says they likely try to stay in the eye of the storm, where it’s calm.

>> Read the latest on Hurricane Matthew 

“When the storm reaches land, some of them may start fighting the winds. Others may go with it and travel with the eye until the hurricane dissipates,” said Kaufman. “The majority of seabirds, if they are not too weakened from having flown for so long without food, will probably find their way back to shore quickly. They have great powers of navigation.”

Hurricane Matthew: St. Augustine streets flooded, people stranded

St. Augustine was among the hardest-hit areas of Northeast Florida as Hurricane Matthew arrived Friday. 

Video from WJAX reporter Russell Colburn showed water rising in downtown streets. People were seen trapped at the Casablanca Inn. 

>>Hurricane Matthew: Live updates

St. Johns County officials quickly moved to close all bridges in St. Johns County earlier in the day. 

>> Read the latest on Hurricane Matthew 



Staff members to stay at Jacksonville Zoo to ride out storm with animals

Staff members at the Jacksonville Zoo stayed behind Thursday and Friday to care for the animals during Hurricane Matthew. 

The Deputy Director of Animal Care and Conservation, Dan Maloney, said that all animals would shelter-in-place.

There are roughly 2,300 animals at the Zoo.

About 20 staff members were staying behind to care for them, zoo officials said. 

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The most vulnerable areas of the Zoo are the older buildings – including the aviary and front gates.

Land of the Tiger was built with storms in mind, zoo officials said. The cats beds are up high, as are the electrical sockets.

Backup generators are ready if needed.

After Hurricane Matthew, Ohio man Haiti-bound to find his wife

An Ohio woman has been stopped from returning home from Haiti due to Hurricane Matthew, now her husband is on his way to the island nation looking for any sign of his wife.

Chelsey Crabtree was in Haiti with family members on a mission trip, her husband Jacob Crabtree said. She had been there for about a week, he said, before Hurricane Matthew hit Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

The family makes several visits to Haiti each year, he said, to help out at orphanages and drill water wells for their nonprofit, Living Water for Haiti.

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Jacob Crabtree, who was in Springfield, Ohio when the storm hit, was texting with his wife, he said, until about 4 a.m. Wednesday when he lost contact. She was telling him the storm’s strength was increasing, he said.

Nearly two days after the storm damaged Haiti, Crabtree had not been able to contact his wife for two days. He boarded a plane early Friday morning to fly to the country, headed to the town of Jeremie, Haiti to find his wife.

The town west of the capital of Port-Au-Prince was in the eye of Hurricane Matthew. His wife and her four family members were in that area on a mission trip.

The couple have been through a natural disaster before.  Last time, it was an earthquake that left her stranded in 2010. It took four days for her to make contact with her family.

“Obviously we’re worried, still no word from there,” Jacob Crabtree said.

>> Read the latest on Hurricane Matthew 

Tuesday, when the storm made landfall on southwestern Haiti, a NASA satellite captured the storm’s swirling clouds blanketing Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and much of eastern Cuba. It was a Cat 4 (sustained winds of 130 mph to 156 mph), the strongest to hit that nation in more than 50 years, NASA officials said.

Crabtree said he’ll not purchase a return ticket and depending on what he finds, he may stay to help with survivors and clean up.

“Just kind of leaving it open-ended, if they need help down there and there’s things I could do, I’ll stay, you know if I need to get them home, then I’ll get them home,” he said.

He admits he’s afraid, but he’s leaning on his faith in God.

“That’s what keeps us going back all the time you know? We’re all commanded to give back and to care for and there’s always those risks, but you know God didn’t command us to go to the safe places.”

Police: Suspect arrested breaking into Central Florida store as Matthew looms

Police in the Central Florida city of Sanford said a burglar was apprehended while trying to break into a Dollar General store Thursday as severe weather from Hurricane Matthew began to blow through.

>> Read the latest on Hurricane Matthew

The department tweeted that the burglar was arrested and posted a photo on Twitter of a front glass window smashed.

#HurricaneMatthew #Burglary #BREAKING Sanford Police apprehend a subject breaking into a Dollar General. pic.twitter.com/2emRMZ3Rea— Sanford Police (@SanfordPolice) October 7, 2016<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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