Coloradans in Matthew’s path brace for punch

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DENVER – People from Colorado in Hurricane Matthew’s path braced for dire conditions Thursday.

Experts warn of strong winds and heavy rains. Many roadways in the southeastern United States are now closed, forcing Coloradans on vacation to shelter in place. Power outages and flooding are likely.

Jessica Polakowski, a 25-year-old college student from Thornton, spoke to FOX31 from her Disney World hotel room on Thursday.

“Everyone’s racing to their rooms,” said Polakowski. “We’re fully booked at the hotel. There’s no more rooms available.”

The Colorado Christian University student says she’s preparing the best she can by stocking up on food and water. In Florida for a work conference, Polakowski took time on Thursday to talk to her mom more than 1,500 miles away in Thornton.

“They’re passing out flash lights right now, and they’re stating that if the power goes out … we will be on generators,” Polakowski told her mom, Barbara McFarland.

McFarland has been glued to the TV and computer, wishing her daughter was back home in Colorado.

“It’s really hard being a parent and your whole world is somewhere else,” said McFarland.

Polakowski’s hotel and countless others across Florida have been put on lockdown status. Guests have been told to stay in their rooms.

“We are not allowed to leave the room until 7 a.m. on Saturday,” said Polakowski.

No evacuation plan had been received by Polakowski as of late Thursday. Both mom and daughter are hoping Matthew’s punch will not knock out cell service. FaceTime has helped McFarland know her daughter is OK.