|Credit NWS Jacksonville|
Florida Governor Rick Scott has issued the following update on how the state is preparing to deal with our first Major Hurricane in more than a decade.
It's a very lengthy statement, and I've only reproduced about 1/3rd of it. Follow the link to read it in its entirety.
FT. PIERCE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott this morning visited the Florida State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee and will be in Ft. Pierce, Rockledge and Jacksonville today to meet with emergency management officials as the state prepares for Hurricane Matthew, a life-threatening category three storm. Florida remains under both tropical storm and hurricane watches. Governor Scott has remained in constant communication with state and local leaders, utility companies and sheriffs who are working to ensure the state is prepared for the storm.
- Brevard County: Mandatory evacuations for barrier islands is at 3 pm today.
- Lucie County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
- Flagler County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
- Duval County: Voluntary evacuations have begun.
- Many coastal counties are planning on opening shelters today, including shelters for people with special needs, pets and general populations. A list of all open shelters will be available at http://floridadisaster.org/shelters/summary.htm
- The state is working with the American Red Cross to identify shelter capacity both during and following the storm in the potential impact areas.
- The state has a 110,000 meal capacity a day, which can be delivered using 24 Emergency Response Vehicles, 31 canteens, and 2 mobile trailers
- There are currently no power outages in Florida due to Hurricane Matthew.
- Utilities have been put on notice to be prepared to quickly report outage and restoral information once applicable. The outage reporting is expected to begin Thursday morning.
- Utilities are contacting their mutual aid partners to determine availability if external resources are needed to restore services.
- The state is monitoring the power grid for sufficient power in the state and the natural gas infrastructure for any damages that can cause a loss of service to power plants.
- Governor Scott spoke with utilities across the state yesterday to ensure utilities are pre-positioned and there are no unmet needs.
- There are no current supply, distribution or retail fuel shortages or issues.
- The state will continue to monitor fuel assistance requests; currently there are no requests for assistance. The current fuel supply in the state will last for at least 8 days, even if all ports close.
- The state is working with fuel partners and suppliers to increase the number trucks moving fuel from the ports to retail locations.
- The state has contacted emergency fuel and equipment providers for status of emergency fuel supply and equipment.
- The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) activated its emergency contact system for the east coast Florida school districts and colleges, and is monitoring closures made at the district and college levels.
- District school closures include:
- Brevard County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
- Broward County – Closed Thursday and Friday. Eastern Florida State College will be closed until Monday.
- Martin County – There will be early dismissal today. Schools closed Thursday and Friday.
- Indian River County – There will be early dismissal today. Schools closed Thursday and Friday.
- Okeechobee County – Schools closed Thursday and Friday.
- Palm Beach County – Closed Thursday and Friday.
- Lucie County – There will be early dismissal today. Schools closed Thursday and Friday.
- Florida School for Deaf and Blind – Closed today, Thursday and Friday.
- Universities/ college closures include:
- Florida Atlantic University – Classes will be cancelled beginning at 5PM today and remain cancelled Thursday and Friday.
- University of North Florida – Classes will be cancelled beginning at 3PM today and remain cancelled Thursday and Friday.
- DCF offices in Brevard County are closing as of noon today due to mandatory coastal evacuations. They will also be closed Thursday and Friday per Brevard County.
- Today, the Governor activated 300 Florida National Guard members who will be staging across the state. This is in addition to the approximately 200 members of the National Guard activated yesterday to support hurricane preparedness and response.
- In addition to this, Florida has over 6,000 National Guard members ready to be deployed if needed.
- The National Guard will be focused on staging to perform search and rescue efforts as well as providing reconnaissance teams, equipment such as high wheeled vehicles security, and staffing and planning support to assist counties as needed.