The Monroe County Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac as it makes it’s slow approach to the Florida Keys. As of Thursday evening, there are no protective action recommendations for Florida Keys residents and visitors.
Everyone should be monitoring the storm closely, however, and should be making preparations for it. The forecast track takes the storm over the Keys and as of this afternoon, the National Weather Service says tropical storm force winds may begin to affect us Sunday evening with the worst of the storm hitting the Keys into Monday morning. Storm conditions are expected to continue through Monday and possibly into Tuesday.
Emergency Management Director Irene Toner anticipates a local state of emergency being declared on Friday, and anticipates a Level 2 activation – that is a partial activation with minimum staffing.
She says she does not anticipate an evacuation of Monroe County residents at this time, although everyone should be making preparations, securing their homes and property, putting up shutters and securing loose items. Stock up on medications, water, batteries, canned food and other items that might be necessary if there is an extended power outage.
County officials are considering the possibility of a visitor evacuation possibly on Saturday, however the decision has not yet been made and will depend on how the situation develops as the storm gets closer. Continue to monitor local media and the social media sites at the bottom of this page for updated information.
Shelters at select area schools will open Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. Officials recommend people who live in low lying areas, in mobile homes or those who are homeless plan to go to shelters until after the storm. The shelters to open are at Key West High School, Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon and Coral Shores High School. Make sure if you plan to go to a shelter, you bring all you need with you. There will NOT be any food, bedding or supplies available at the shelters.
County offices, Sheriff’s Offices and the County Courts will be closed on Monday. Of course Sheriff’s Office dispatchers, law enforcement and corrections personnel will still be working to keep residents safe and secure.
Again, make sure you watch this storm closely. Listen to local radio stations and watch local television stations for any developments. Updates will be posted in several locations for the public’s viewing:
Monroe County’s website: www.monroecounty-fl.gov
The Sheriff’s Office Blog: floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com
Facebook: MCSO-Florida Keys
Sheriff’s website: www.keysso.net