August 26, 2012

Emergency officials ready for storm, and it’s aftermath

Isaac update – 10 a.m.

Emergency Management officials met on a conference call this morning with weather forecasters from the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and emergency responders from the county, cities, utilities, hospitals, the federal government and others to discuss Tropical Storm Isaac as it begins to impact the Florida Keys.

The center of the storm is expected to cross the Florida Keys a little earlier than projected. People should see the worst storm winds beginning late this afternoon, subsiding by early morning hours Monday.

There are 115 people who have taken advantage of shelters open countywide, at Key West High School, Sugarloaf School, Stanley Switlik School in Marathon and Coral Shores High School in Islamorada. It is still not too late for those who feel unsafe to get to these shelters.

Everyone who remained in the Keys should now find safe shelter and stay indoors for the duration of the storm. Bands of wind and rain will become more frequent and more severe as the day passes. Low lying areas have begun seeing some flooding in areas where flooding is expected during heavy rains, and it is not safe for people to be out on the roadways driving around. Law Enforcement, firefighters and paramedics are on duty and will be responding to emergencies when it is possible to do so. They will not, however, venture out if conditions are not safe for them.

There have been periodic electrical outages throughout the Keys. Keys Energy and Florida Keys Electric Co-op are doing all they can to respond to those outages and restore power. Their crews will also only respond when it is safe for them to do so.

After the storm passes, Emergency responders are prepared to assess damage, respond to emergency calls for assistance and begin to clean up whatever the storm leaves behind. In the meantime, stay safe, stay inside and be careful.

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