August 26, 2012

Update: Isaac, 7 a.m. Sunday

Keys Officials: Stay Indoors During Isaac

Florida Keys emergency management and law enforcement officials are directing visitors and residents to remain indoors when Tropical Storm Isaac moves through the island chain today and Monday morning.

With the expected arrival of tropical storm force winds along the island chain soon, officials are no longer advising visitors to leave, citing deteriorating weather conditions will soon make driving on Keys roads too dangerous.

"You've chosen to remain in the Keys during this storm and the only safe place for you to be is indoors," said Monroe County Emergency Management Director Irene Toner. "Stay off roads and don't go outside.

"Our goal is to keep everyone safe," she emphasized.

Officials asked travelers with plans to visit the Keys during the next few days to postpone them until after the storm passes and an infrastructure assessment is conducted. Contact lodging properties directly for their status or view post-Isaac updates on the tourism infrastructure that are to be available at Tourism officials aspire that Keys visitor facilities will be fully operational prior to the upcoming Labor Day Weekend.

Four county shelters are open including Key West High School at 2100 Flagler Ave.; Sugarloaf School, mile marker 19 on Sugarloaf Key; Stanley Switlik School, at MM 48 in Marathon and Coral Shores High School at MM 90 in Islamorada.

All federal, state, county and municipal parks and beaches are closed. Keys airports and the Port of Key West is closed as well.

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. Keep them secured in a garage or another inside location so they do not become projectiles.

All Keys hospitals are open and fire/rescue and law enforcement services are operating at this time. Hospitals are to remain operational during and after the storm, but county fire rescue units evaluate their ability to respond when winds reach gale force, according to Monroe County Fire Rescue Chief Jim Callahan.

Tropical storm-force conditions are forecast to continue through Monday morning, according to Jon Rizzo, the warning coordination meteorologist at the Key West National Weather Service office. There is a slight chance of minimal Category 1 hurricane effects on portions of the Middle and Lower Keys.


Monroe County's website:
Facebook: MCSO-Florida Keys
Twitter: @mcsonews
Sheriff's website:
Monroe County Emergency: 1-800-955-5504

Florida Keys tourism council
Facebook: floridakeysandkeywest
Twitter: @thefloridakeys
Keys Visitor Assistance Line: 1-800-771-KEYS

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