Hurricane Warning for Keys Downgraded to Tropical Storm Warning
The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded the hurricane warning to a tropical storm warning for the Florida Keys at 5 p.m. Sunday.
The center of Isaac passed south of Key West as a tropical storm, with sustained winds about 60 mph.
Tropical storm-force winds are possible through the night. Officials continue to recommend residents and visitors to stay indoors through Sunday evening, but if they must go outside to use extreme caution. Be mindful of debris including downed powerlines that have not been reported to utility companies
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office continues to advise the public to stay off the roadways Sunday evening. Standing water can make it dangerous to drive. Many motorists have found themselves stranded after driving through water deeper than they realized. Driving through residential neighborhoods that might be inundated with water can cause a wake that can wash into people’s yards and homes.
There is still potential for one to three feet of storm surge until Isaac is well past the Keys, according to Andrew Devanas, science and operations officer at the Key West National Weather Service.
Thus far, there are few reported significant impacts in the county, according to Monroe County Emergency Management Director Irene Toner, but cautioned she would not have full field damage reports until Monday.
Spokesperson for both Keys electric companies — Florida Keys Electric Cooperative and Keys Energy — reported sporadic outages, but indicated that crews were able to quickly respond and restore service.
Spokespersons in Key West, Marathon, Layton and Key Colony Beach indicated some branches and small signs down, but no significant impacts.
Monroe County Airports Director Peter Horton reports no major issues thus far at Key West International Airport. He expects restoration of commercial air service into Key West Tuesday morning. Horton said he was still waiting for assessments from Florida Keys Marathon Airport.
Four Florida Keys shelters will remain open until noon Monday.
These are numbers of current occupants in Florida Keys' storm shelters, according Toner, are:
Key West High School, 2100 Flagler Avenue, Key West - 89
Sugarloaf School, mile marker 19, on Sugarloaf Key - 12
Stanley Switlik School, MM 48, in Marathon - 14
Coral Shores High School, MM 90, in Islamorada - 2
All county and municipal offices -- including courts -- are closed Monday. Monroe public schools are to be closed to students and teachers Monday and to students Tuesday.
County and municipal garbage pickups are canceled Monday, so residents are asked to not place refuse containers outside residences and businesses.
All Keys hospitals are open and fire/rescue and law enforcement services are operating at this time.
Monroe County's website: www.monroecounty-fl.gov
Facebook: MCSO-Florida Keys
Sheriff's website: www.keysso.net
Monroe County Emergency: 1-800-955-5504