Tallahassee, Florida- August 27, 2012
Today at noon, Governor Rick Scott reminded Floridians that while Tropical Storm Isaac is currently forecast to make landfall in Louisiana, it is still important for Floridians to remain vigilant.
“It looks like the Keys didn’t get a lot of damage. That’s good, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Governor Scott. “We’ve got to watch what’s happening in the panhandle. Safety is our top priority.”
Tropical Storm Isaac is approximately 250 miles wide and forecasters anticipate heavy rain to affect much of the state. Emergency officials warn of the possibility of localized flooding across the entire state, with a significant impact to the Florida Panhandle. Governor Scott encouraged Floridians to pay attention to tornado warnings and seek places of safety if it becomes necessary. He stressed the importance of being prepared.
As Isaac moves toward the Gulf Coast, Florida’s residents and visitors should follow the instructions of their local emergency management agency regarding evacuations and sheltering. The State Emergency Response Team stands ready to support requests for assistance from local officials.
Governor Scott signed Executive Order 12-199, to declare a statewide state of emergency on Saturday, August 25. The Executive Order designates Bryan W. Koon as the State Coordinating Officer. The Executive Order directs all state agencies, including the Florida National Guard, to provide any necessary assistance when requested by local governments. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is operating at a Level One, full activation.
It is imperative that Florida’s residents, businesses and visitors take the time to prepare for the impact of Tropical Storm Isaac in the watch and warning areas. Ensure that you and your family have an emergency plan, including your local evacuation route, where you will go if you need to evacuate, a meeting place in case you are separated, contact information and important paperwork and nearby shelter information.
Also be sure your disaster supply kit is stocked and up to date with 72 hours worth of supplies to sustain yourself and your family members. This includes water, food, medication, personal care items, a weather radio, flashlight and batteries. Also be sure to fill up your tanks with gas and get cash in case ATMs are unavailable due to power loss. More tips and information are available at www.FloridaDisaster.org.
As of 11 am:
Watches and Warnings Issued for Florida:
· Hurricane Warning – Destin westward to Morgan City, Louisiana. This includes the Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.
· Tropical Storm Warning – (Florida Panhandle) Destin to Aucilla River.
· Tornado Warning: Eastern Martin and southeastern St. Lucie counties until 12:15 pm. Additional tornado watches and warnings are possible today. Stay tuned to local media for up to date information about tornado watches and warnings in your area and take necessary safety precautions.
· Flood Watch: A Flood Watch is in effect through this evening for Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Glades, Henry and mainland Monroe counties.
· Flash Flood Warning: Eastern Broward and eastern Palm Beach counties until 2 pm.
· High risk of rip currents: east and west coast beaches of South Florida today. Dangerous rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water. Be sure to check beach warning flags before swimming.
· Shelters are open in 15 counties, including 13 special needs shelters and 33 general population shelters. Visit http://floridadisaster.org/shelters/summary.htm for details.
· Schools are closed in 25 counties today.
· Seaports closed: Big Bend, Boca Grande, Bradenton, Cedar Key, Charlotte, Crystal River, East Bay, Egmont Key, Fort Myers Beach, Fowey Rocks, Hillsborough Bay, Key West, Manatee, Port Sutton, Rattlesnake, Rockport, Sand Key, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Weedon Island
· Airport closures: Marathon, Key West; Pensacola will close after the last inbound flights Monday evening (8/27/12), with a plan to reopen Thursday morning (8/30/12)
· Bridge closures: Miami-Dade bridges locked down; Miami River, Intracoastal Waterway and Snake Creek Bridges schedules to begin reopening. Sunshine Skyway Bridge high wind advisory in effect, no lane closures but motorists are advised to use caution.
· DOT tolls suspended: Garcon Point Bridge (Santa Rosa County)
· State building closures: Escambia County- James Building; Lee County- Ft. Myers Regional Service Center, Dade County- Opa Locka, FDLE Miami and Rhode buildings, Broward County- North Broward Regional Service Center and Gore building, Hillsborough County- Trammel and Hargrett buildings
For more information on preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Isaac, call the Florida Emergency Information Line at 1-800-342-3557. Hearing-impaired persons may call the Florida Telecommunications Relay at 1-800-226-4329 to receive information and access TTY systems. For local details, contact your county emergency management agency.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. To GET A PLAN! visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. For the latest information on the 2012 Hurricane Season, follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/flsert and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.