The storm made a last-minute shift to the east before brushing the Florida coast, allowing much of Central Florida to escape the extreme winds that had been forecast from the storm. As a result, the areas around Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and the rest of the resort areas avoided any major damage.
@ThemePark it's pretty much over around Disney. It never got too bad. Just a nasty storm. #HurricaneMatthew— Anthony Murphy (@Donillini) October 7, 2016
That's not to say that Matthew didn't have an effect upon the larger area. The winds did blow down trees and knock down power lines, and the rain flooded some areas nearer the Atlantic coast. With flights canceled all day at the Orlando airport, it will take several days for air travel to return to normal, as people scramble to reschedule their flights.
But the area theme parks should be back to normal operation on Saturday, following clean-up of storm debris by ride-out crews today. Universal Orlando and Legoland have announced that they will open tomorrow morning at their regularly scheduled times, all the Walt Disney World parks will open at 8am and SeaWorld will open at noon. Busch Gardens Tampa remained open during the storm, as Matthew wasn't much more than a typical Florida rainstorm on the state's west coast.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Matthew will continue up the Atlantic coast past Georgia and the Carolinas, before making a wide turn in the Atlantic and returning south to the Bahamas, where it will weaken into a tropical storm and then a tropical depression. If this forecast holds, if Matthew does return to Central Florida, it won't be as anything much more than a typical rainstorm
Hurricane Matthew coverage:
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