For Immediate Release Tuesday 9:00 PM
September 6, 2017
PREPARING FOR CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IRMA
MANDATORY EVACUATION OF RESIDENTS IS UNDERWAY
EVERYONE ENCOURAGED TO EVACUATE THE FLORIDA KEYS AS SOON POSSIBLE
NO EMERGENCY RESPONSE WILL BE POSSIBLE DURING THE STORM
Monroe County Emergency Management Information Hotline: 800-955-5504
Islamorada Emergency Management staff continues to monitor and prepare for Hurricane Irma in close coordination with Monroe County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service Key West Office.
Hurricane Irma continues to approach Florida as a strong Category 5 storm with the cone covering all of the Florida Keys. Rain squalls and gusty winds are expected to begin to affect the Upper Keys early Saturday; with full onset of the hurricane conditions late Saturday. It is still too early to predict the length of hurricane conditions or level of storm surge. Hurricane conditions as long as 12 hours in length and dangerous storm surge of nine feet above the ground level are possible. The predictions will become more accurate as the storm progresses. Current forecasts can be found at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
Mandatory evacuation of tourists began at 7AM today. MANDATORY EVACUATION OF RESIDENTS BEGINS AT 7PM TONIGHT. Everyone is urged to evacuate as soon as possible. There will be no shelters in Monroe County.
CONDITIONS WILL BE TOO DANGEROUS TO CONSIDER STAYING IN ISLAMORADA. Emergency response will not be available once winds reach 40 MPH. Mariner’s Hospital in Tavernier will close at 7PM Thursday. All Florida Keys hospitals will be closed, including the Emergency Rooms. Local medical care will not be available.
Mandatory evacuation of tourist began at 7AM today. MANDATORY EVACUATION OF RESIDENTS BEGAN AT 7PM TONIGHT. Everyone is urged to evacuate as soon as possible. There will be no shelters in Monroe County.
CONDITIONS WILL BE TOO DANGEROUS TO CONSIDER STAYING IN ISLAMORADA.
- Emergency response will not be available once winds reach 40 MPH.
- Florida Keys hospitals will be closed-no medical care will be available.
- TraumaStar emergency transportation will not be available beginning on Friday.
- Utility repairs cannot be made when hospitals are closed. If electricity (or other utility service) goes out even before the storm, no repairs can be made.
- Although attempts are being made to have gasoline delivered to some stations, many or most gas stations are closed.
Residents and business owners should have completed preparations for Category 5 Hurricane conditions. Ensure emergency supply kits are complete and EVACUATE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Emergency kits should include at least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food as well as a 7-day supply of medications are recommended. Please be prepared to take care of our pets during the storm, include necessary food and medications with your emergency kit and have veterinary records with you. Shelters require documentation of vaccinations.Tolls on the Florida Turnpike are suspended during the evacuation. Residents unable to pick up decals before offices closed will be able to show ID to the Sheriff’s Officer for re-entry; some additional time may be needed to re-enter without a decal.
Southbound traffic on US 1: The Sheriff’s Office will not close southbound US 1 to traffic entering the Keys. Those needing to enter the Keys to secure their homes or get their boats will be able to do so.
Shelters and hotels: A page dedicated to finding Florida hotels has been set up by Expedia and can be found at https://www.expedia.com/florida. Emergency shelter information for Monroe County residents is posted on the Monroe County Emergency Management website at http://monroecountyem.com/index.aspx?NID=122 . THE EMERGENCY SHELTERS OPEN THURSDAY AT 5pm.
- The Snake Creek Drawbridge will be in locked-down position beginning at 6:30 AM Friday. This will allow cars to pass; it will not open for vessels to cross under the bridge.
- All parks in Islamorada including Founders Park will close at the end of the day on Wednesday and remain closed until further notice.
- The Founders Park Marina and boat ramp will remain open on Wednesday to allow residents to remove boats from the water and will close at the end of the day on Wednesday. Residents planning to remove boats from the water using the marina boat ramp are directed to do so today and Wednesday.
- Administrative Offices will close at 5:00 on Wednesday and remain closed until further notice. Emergency Management operations will continue throughout the hurricane.
- Trash Pickup Ended Wednesday: There will be no pickup of any waste until after the storm. Residents are directed to secure trash containers before evacuating. Do not leave containers or any objects at the curb or in the yard. Secure all belongings that may become dangerous flying debris during the hurricane. Any recent tree trimming debris must be secured in your garage or other location so that it will not create a danger during the high winds.
Monroe County closure notices:
- Monroe County Offices and Monroe County Schools are closed.
- All state and county parks in the Florida Keys are closed.
- Delta Airlines has three commercial flights leaving Key West International Airport on Thursday and will then close to commercial service until further notice.
Islamorada will release the next update with local information at approximately 10AM on Thursday, September 7, 2017.
Please continue to monitor local broadcasts, the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ for updates. Sign up for Alerts from Monroe County Emergency Management at: http://www.monroecountyem.com/ to receive important local information. Village News at www.islamorada.fl.us will continue to provide information specific to Islamorada.