[UPDATE] City of Tallahassee Operations Back to Normal

By: City of Tallahassee Release; Kara Duffy Email
By: City of Tallahassee Release; Kara Duffy Email

[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida- August 28, 2012- 3:55 p.m.

With Tropical Storm Isaac no longer a threat and all local watches and warnings discontinued, the City of Tallahassee has returned to normal operations. The City's Area Command facility was closed this morning, the City Utilities Call Center is back to normal operating hours and all other departments have returned to their standard operations.

Both City sandbag locations (at Winthrop Park and Messer Field South) were closed as of noon today. Citizens who collected sandbags are welcome to keep them in anticipation of any future heavy rain events, including tropical storms. As a reminder, the 2012 hurricane season lasts until November 30, with the most active period continuing into early October.

"While we send our best wishes to the people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as they deal with Isaac, the good news for Tallahassee is that the storm threat is over," said Robby Powers, the City's Emergency Management Coordinator. "Citizens in Tallahassee took this storm seriously, as evidenced by the sandbags that were filled, supplies purchased and family plans put in place. It was also a good test for our City departments, who demonstrated they were ready to serve the community if the storm had come our way."

With social media playing a pivotal role during emergency situations and at all times, the City provides a variety of communications tools to ensure citizens remain informed. These include:

Twitter posts @COTNews – includes power outage updates, major road closures, flooding reports. Traffic/transportation updates and other road closures are available @COTTraffic
Facebook updates at Facebook.com/COTNews – with all City news releases and storm-related information
Talgov.com – official City website with information about preparation, response and recovery efforts
WCOT (Comcast Cable channel 13) – storm-related information

The City is also prepared to lend any disaster relief assistance to neighboring communities to the west should it be requested following Isaac's landfall.

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[UPDATE] Tallahassee, Florida- August 27, 2012- 3:45 p.m.

In anticipation of the continued potential for adverse impacts from Tropical Storm Isaac, the City of Tallahassee has placed extra crews on standby for any response efforts needed. Though the storm appears to be heading toward an eventual landfall in Louisiana, Isaac's very large size is causing impacts that are being felt hundreds of miles away from the center. The City continues to be prepared to respond to any adverse conditions from the storm as long as Isaac remains a threat. The City's Area Command will begin 24-hour staffing this evening at 8 p.m. to oversee response efforts.

Citizen inquiries – The City's call center is now operating 24 hours daily and will do so as long as Isaac remains a threat to the community. Citizens with any storm-related issues may call 850-891-4YOU (4968); these include power outages, downed trees, impassable roads or flooding concerns.

Electric Utility – With a likelihood of heavy rain overnight into tomorrow, the City's Electric Utility has placed extra crews on call beginning tonight, with up to 30 employees available for power outage response efforts in addition to normal staffing. While several scattered outages occurred yesterday and today, due primarily to tree limbs falling on or against power lines, most have been restored quickly. Currently, no outages are being reported.

Public Works – In addition, the City's Public Works Department has placed extra crews on call beginning tonight, primarily for tree clearing and flooding concerns. Crews specializing in limb removal and/or leaning trees are also now on standby. Public Works is also lowering the level of Lake Ella by approximately two feet to help alleviate potential flooding concerns in the area.

Bags and sand remain available in the parking lot of the Messer Field South Softball Complex on the south side of Jackson Bluff Road between Appleyard Drive and Dupree Street and at Winthrop Park in the parking area alongside Mitchell Avenue near Betton Road. Citizens need to bring their own shovels, but sand and bags are provided with a suggested limit of 20 bags per household. City crews are monitoring the sites and are ready to provide additional sand and bags as needed. Over 3,000 sandbags have been collected by citizens thus far from the two City locations.

Tallahassee Regional Airport – Although operations at the airport have remained normal, several flight delays/cancellations have occurred, primarily involving flights to South Florida cities already being impacted by Isaac. Passengers are reminded to contact their airline directly regarding the status of flights. Extra Tallahassee Regional Airport operations/maintenance staff is now on standby to assist as needed while Isaac remains a threat to the area.

Public Safety – Both the Tallahassee Police Department and Tallahassee Fire Department are ready to assign extra officers/firefighting personnel as needed. All equipment has been tested and is fully ready for deployment as needed.

The City provides a variety of communications tools to ensure citizens remain informed during emergency situations. These include:

Twitter posts @COTNews – includes power outage updates, major road closures, flooding reports. Traffic/transportation updates and other road closures are available @COTTraffic
Facebook updates at Facebook.com/COTNews – with all City news releases and storm-related information
Talgov.com – official City website with information about preparation, response and recovery efforts
WCOT (Comcast Cable channel 13) – storm-related information

For now, all City services not referenced remain intact and on schedule, including Solid Waste Services, StarMetro, Underground Utilities, and Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Affairs.

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Tallahassee, Florida- August 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac's path is still unclear, but local grocery stores are extra busy today as people stock up on food and supplies.

Many shoppers we spoke to said they were stocking up on staple foods and toiletries.

An employee at one grocery store said he's seen a steady flow of customers coming through doors.

One shopper says she picked up enough food to last her a few days.

"Edible crackers, cookies, things that don't have to be put in the oven and canned meats," said Dot Roberts.

Emergency officials say when preparing for a storm, it's best to stock up on non-perishable food, batteries, prescription medications, and lots of water.

They recommend having at least a four day supply on hand.

Meanwhile, residents also picked up sandbags on Sunday in preparation for the possibility of Isaac.

City workers say as of 12:30 Saturday afternoon they had already passed out two truck loads worth of sand.

Many people who were filling sandbags said after damage from Tropical Storm Debby, they want to be better prepared this time around.

Beverly Speight, Tallahassee Resident said, "Just trying to make sure that everything is ready so that when the storm or hurricane does come. we're ready to roll."

Tallahassee Resident Homer O'Bright added, "I'm glad to see everybody's out here taking this thing serious. We have to take it serious, there's no doubt about that."

Each household was able to pick up 20 bags of sand for free.

City workers say the sandbags can make all the difference when it comes to flooding.


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