Florida is Open for Business as Hurricane Isaac Moves Westward

By: Florida Emergency Management Release Email
By: Florida Emergency Management Release Email

Tallahassee, Florida- August 28, 2012

This afternoon, Governor Scott thanked Florida’s emergency managers for their close coordination in preparing residents and visitors for the anticipated impacts from Isaac, now a category one hurricane. Though Isaac has impacted portions of the state, Florida remains open for business and looks forward to hosting visitors from around the world for Labor Day weekend next month.

As the recently upgraded Hurricane Isaac moves further west, impacts are still possible today and tomorrow across the Florida panhandle. Flooding remains the primary concern in certain parts of Florida. In some locations, flash flooding, tornadoes and rip currents continue to be a concern. Florida’s State Emergency Response Team (SERT) is on standby to support neighboring states with resources, equipment and personnel through the nationwide Emergency Management Assistance Compact if requested.

Tropical Storm Isaac
The Florida State Emergency Response Team
August 28, 2012 Published at 1200hrs
State Emergency Operations Center Level: One
Operational Period: August 28, 2012 0700hrs – August 29, 2012 0700hrs

Florida’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains activated at a Level One in response to Tropical Storm Isaac.


At 11am EDT Tuesday, Tropical Storm Isaac was approximately 80 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Isaac is moving to the northwest around 10 mph. The official forecast has the center of Isaac making landfall along the Louisiana coast as early as this evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph. Isaac is expected to gradually strengthen and will likely be a hurricane before making landfall. Isaac remains a large storm, and tropical storm force winds now extend as far as 185 miles from the center. The large nature of Isaac could still produce tropical storm force winds in portions of the Florida Panhandle. 2-5 inches of rain will be possible over much of North Florida for the next few days. Higher rainfall totals of 6-9 inches with higher amounts to 12-15 inches are possible in the western Panhandle. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Escambia County through 2am Wednesday. Storm tide heights may reach 3-6 feet along the Florida Panhandle and 2-4 feet in Apalachee Bay. 1-3 feet of surge is possible for the remainder of the Florida west coast. Additionally, there is a threat for severe weather including isolated tornadoes over Northwest Florida today. A Tornado Watch is in place for the Florida Panhandle until this evening.


Tropical Storm Warnings – Destin to Florida-Alabama border. This includes the counties of: Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa


· SEOC is activated at a Level One (Full)

· The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) was activated at 1200hrs on August 25, 2012

- FEIL phone number is: 1-800-342-3557

- The FEIL will be staffed from 8AM-8PM EDT, hours will be adjusted due to call volume

· Emergency Orders for three state agencies (DEM, DEP, DOC) were executed in order to suspend procurement and travel statutes for response to Tropical Storm Isaac

· An Emergency Order by the Department of Agriculture was executed in order to expedite power restoration in response to Tropical Storm Isaac

· FEMA Region IV Incident Management Assistance Team-2 (IMAT-2) is on scene at the SEOC

Executive Orders

Governor Scott has executed the following Executive Order(s)/Action(s):

Executive Order Number
Date Signed

EO # 12-199
State of Emergency - Tropical Storm Isaac

Emergency Services Support Branch

· ESF 8 – Public Health & Medical

o Providing pre-scripted public information to impacted county health departments (vector, flooding, water, sewer)

· ESF 10 – Hazardous Materials

o 11 Drinking Water facilities (serving populations less than 3,300) of 63 in affected counties have full operational status, with two of those 11 on backup power

o 23 Wastewater facilities (>0.1MGD) of 55 in affected counties have full operational status, with two of those 23 on backup power

o Park Closures (per DEP):

§ Day Use: Anclote Key; Bahia Honda; Caladesi Island; Cayo Costa; Charlotte Harbor; Collier-Seminole; Colt Creek; Curry Hammock; Delnor-Wiggins Pass; Don Pedro; Egmont Key; Estero Bay; Fakahatchee; Fort Taylor; Gasparilla Island; Highlands Hammock; Hillsborough River; Indian Key; Koreshan; Lake Kissimmee; Lake Manatee; Lignumvitae Key; Long Key; Lovers Key; Myakka River; Oscar Scherer; St. George Island; St. Lucie Inlet; Stump Pass; Weeki Wachee; Werner Boyce; Ybor City

§ Camping: Alafia; Big Lagoon; Blackwater River; Falling Waters; Grayton Beach; Henderson Beach; Ochlockonee River; Rocky Bayou; St. Andrews; St. Joseph; Topsail Hill; Torreya

· ESF 16 – Law Enforcement

o Reported Road Closures: Periodic closure of US-1 at mile marker 101 and between mile markers 110 and 113 southbound (Monroe); US-441 (Okeechobee); SR-5 (Indian River); US-1 (Indian River); SR-80 (Palm Beach);

Human Services Support Branch

· ESF 6 – Mass Care

o For the most current list of open shelters visit http://floridadisaster.org/shelters/summary.htm.

o The American Red Cross has served 1,132 meals and 1,576 snacks to date for this event

o The Salvation Army has served 1,030 meals and 46 snacks to date for this event

Infrastructure Support Branch

· ESF 1/3 – Transportation & Public Works

o Airport Closures: None currently

o Causeways/Bridge Closures: US 1 at 17th (Indian River)

o Port Closures: Apalachicola River; Gulf Intercoastal Waterway; Pensacola; Port St. Joe; Panama City (open with restrictions)

o Rail Closures: Amtrak service south of Orlando (Auto-Trains are not affected); Tri-Rail Commuter Miami; CSX services on the Panhandle Division have been suspended

o Toll Suspensions: Garcon Point Bridge (Santa Rosa)

o Resources Providing: 15,000 sandbags

o (1) FDOT Liaison in Leon County and (1) FDOT Bridge Assessment Team in Okeechobee County

· ESF 2 – Telecommunications

o Florida Interoperability Network (FIN) –100% operational

o State Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) –100% operational; 8 tower sites on back-up power; 12 restored to normal from 12/26

o No major cellular communications issues –Towers operational

o Telecommunications partners in the Panhandle are pre-staging, preparing resources and verifying inventory for deployment/response if needed

· ESF 12 – Energy

o 24,620 of customers were without power in portions of southern Florida as of August 28 at 0700hrs

Logistics Section

· Preparing to support other states with Florida resources

· Coordinate possible requests for Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) missions from out of state impacted areas

Public Information

· ESF 14 – External Affairs

o 120 media calls and 13 press releases have been conducted to date for Tropical Storm Isaac

o The FEIL has handled 700 calls since the first day of operations

o Continuing preparedness and safety messaging and traditional and social media outreach


· Working with counties to address needs as they work through the Initial Damage Assessment process

· Debris/Environmental staff remains on standby to field questions from counties

Information and Planning

· Incident Action Plans, Situation Reports and Flash Reports are being developed and published as scheduled. Counties are reminded to post their Situation Reports to the Info Messages tab in EM Constellation

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.

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