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The Alligator Army Weekly Open Thread, Vol. XXX

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It’s too soon to tell if Hurricane Matthew will affect Florida’s game this weekend.

NCAA Football: Florida at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the state of Florida braces for potential impacts of Hurricane Matthew, as the Florida Gators prepare to face LSU, impacted by a storm of injuries. Florida Governor Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency for the state, due to the severe nature and magnitude of Hurricane Matthew, a dangerous Category Four storm making landfall in Haiti this morning. The forecast for Matthew has shifted closer to Florida, but it is still too soon to tell the exact path that the storm will take, and exactly how the state will be impacted by the hurricane.

The Gainesville Sun reported that Alachua County has a 40 percent chance of receiving tropical storm force winds - winds sustained at 39 miles per hour or more for at least one minute - early on Friday morning. The Gators have adjusted their football schedule due to hurricanes before. Florida’s season opener against Middle Tennessee State was postponed to October 16 in 2004, due to Hurricane Frances. During that same season, UF’s game with Kentucky was moved up to an 11:30 a.m. kick, to avoid potential impacts of Hurricane Jeanne. How, and if, this will affect UF, and Florida’s game with LSU this weekend, remains to be seen.

Of all the teams that the Gators could be playing this weekend, none know more firsthand about the devastating impact of a hurricane than the Bayou Bengals, who hail from the state of Louisiana - which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, in Les Miles’ first season with the Tigers. LSU football postponed one home game and moved another in the wake of the hurricane.

Last year, the state of South Carolina experienced severe and extensive flooding as a result of Hurricane Joaquin, and this caused the Gamecocks to move their scheduled home game with LSU to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. LSU running back Leonard Fournette donated his jersey from that game to flood relief for South Carolina, raising $101,000. LSU also collected donations for South Carolina during the relocated game, and did their best to make the displaced Gamecocks feel welcome.

For those of us who live in (or have lived in) Florida, hurricanes are a reality of residence in the Sunshine State. If you or your loved ones have the potential to be impacted by Hurricane Matthew’s path, please be vigilant about watching the forecasts, and in making necessary preparations for the storm. Please be safe this week.

Go Gators.

And as always, this Weekly Open Thread is for any and all comments on any and all topics, with the rules of commenting decorum still applying.