Matthew F Smith

Gulf Coast Live Producer

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.

Originally from Delaware, he moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, as well as a radio producer, talk show host, and news director at stations across Alaska, where his reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he spent several months producing television news before joining WGCU as the Gulf Coast Live producer in August 2016.

Matthew studied English and journalism at Villanova University in Villanova, PA, where he wrote for the school newspaper and other school publications. He taught English as a Second Language for several years in China and the U.S. before pursuing a career in journalism.

Image: NOAA

The eye of Hurricane Irma, the Category 2 hurricane that made landfall on the Florida mainland at Marco Island shortly around 3:30 p.m. Sunday, is now moving toward Sarasota and into Central Florida.

Image: NOAA

As Hurricane Irma has moved over Naples and Fort Myers and continues to head north up the Florida coast toward Tampa, hundreds of thousands of residents face nightfall without electricity, even as potentially disastrous storm surges upwards of ten to 15 feet could flood into the area in the coming hours.

Image: Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma’s eye is now about 5 miles north of Naples, officially weakening to a Category 2 hurricane but still seeing top winds in excess of 140 mph. In the next two to three hours, Fort Myers should see its worst weather of the storm.

Photo: Quincy Walters, WGCU

Mandatory curfews are in place across three counties in Southwest Florida: in Collier and Charlotte Counties between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and Lee County between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. 

Image: NOAA

Hurricane Irma made landfall on Marco Island shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday, with Florida Public Radio Emergency Network forecasters seeing winds blowing at 100 mph down the coast near Marco Island.