August 30, 2019, AM Update – Dorian is now a Category 3 hurricane with landfall now predicted early Tuesday anywhere along Fla’s 500-mile east coast. The storm will slow near and after landfall, which will result in significant flash flooding and river flooding. This will be especially significant in North and North-Central Florida communities already soaked from earlier August rainfall.
Continued uncertainty on the storm’s exact path is hindering local authorities’ ability to develop concrete evacuation plans and preparations. The same to a lesser degree for shelter plans. Hurricane Watches for Florida are likely later today, but forecasters as of late morning still don’t know where it will make landfall and where exactly the storm will go afterward.
Dorian will slow as it approaches Florida and forecasters now expect a northern turn, resulting in several days of rain along the Peninsula. This will produce “extremely dangerous” conditions in terms of up to Category 4 wind and storm surge (winds of 131-155 mph with storm surge of 13-15 feet), especially from Cape Canaveral south. Expect hurricane conditions in much of the Peninsula with likely tropical storm conditions along the Florida west coast which could lead to storm surge problems there as well.
The National Hurricane Center said it cannot rule out a lot of different scenarios, including one where the storm goes into the Gulf of Mexico. We could see isolated areas receiving 18” of rain, with widespread areas of Florida receiving 6-12”. Tropical storm force winds are expected Sunday evening.
Governor DeSantis has been traveling around the state today, visiting emergency operations centers in key counties. Evacuation plans are still fluid, given the uncertainty of the storm’s path. Several counties are anticipating mandatory evacuations as early as Sunday, but again, without a firm forecast, and especially a storm surge forecast, we’re told, those plans are on hold.
The Governor is urging all Floridians heed any local evacuation orders and to prepare for impacts. Given the storm’s expected slower movement through Florida, he said residents need to have seven days of food, water and medicine on hand (more below in our News from the Governor’s Office). The state has nearly 1 million gallons of water and 2 million meals ready to be distributed where needed and is working with major supermarkets to get shelves restocked quickly. He has ordered additional fuel tanker trucks to deal with shortages created by the rush on gas stations. Yesterday he requested a pre-landfall disaster declaration for all 67 counties from the President.
With the western Florida Panhandle out of the five-day hurricane cone at present, state officials are looking at that area to set up staging areas for fuel tankers, ambulances, and other emergency teams and supplies.
Click here for a full briefing with maps. Please prepare and be aware!
Lisa & the LMA team
Here’s the latest News from the Governor’s Office:
- No evacuations have been ordered at this time.
- Once a local evacuation is ordered, Governor DeSantis will direct the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to lift tolls in the affected areas.
FOOD AND WATER
- The State has 819,000 gallons of water and 1.8 million meals ready for distribution.
- The State has ordered an additional 200,000 gallons of water to bring the total to more than 1 million gallons.
- The State has pre-deployed 860,000 bottles of water to preparing counties.
- At Governor DeSantis’ direction, the Florida National Guard has activated approximately 2,500 members and has an additional 1,500 awaiting orders.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
- 15 Urban Search and Rescue Teams are on standby for deployment.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is leading and coordinating Florida’s law enforcement response and is in contact with state and local law enforcement partners.
- FDLE has deployment teams on standby ready to respond before and after the storm.
- FDLE has identified a law enforcement communications team to assist with communications issues following the storm.
- The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) has prepared its emergency response equipment and resources for staging as the storm approaches the state.
- FHP is also in contact with its local law enforcement and transportation partners to identify and assist with any local needs before, during and after the storm.
- Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) mobiles have been prepared and are ready to deploy and serve impacted customers immediately following the storm.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is preparing officers and resources for potential deployments in the coming days, using a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft boats, ATVs, airboats and four-wheel drive vehicles.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
- FDOT is working with state and local officials to assess the current situation and needs.
- FDOT is monitoring the storm and holding teleconferences with the FDOT district offices.
- FDOT urges all motorists to use caution when driving during storm conditions.
- Florida’s 511 Traveler Information System is one of the most effective ways drivers can keep informed about the state’s roadways during severe weather.
- Contractors on all construction projects are securing work sites, clearing traffic control devices that are not actively being used to direct traffic, and checking drainage systems.
- All available lanes will remain open on the interstate system in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
- The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) is preparing all state-owned buildings along the east coast for possible severe weather. Updates of state office closures will be updated DMS’ website as soon as more information is available. https://www.dms.myflorida.com/business_operations/real_estate_development_and_management/bureau_of_operations_and_maintenance/building_closure_information.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
- The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has activated the Emergency Status System (ESS) for health care facilities statewide to enter their storm preparedness status including generators and utility company information, emergency contacts, and bed availability.
- Information about nursing homes and assisted living facilities generator status can be found here: http://fl-generator.com/.
- The Department of Health (DOH) currently has no active boil water notices. However, it has two webpages that will be updated in real time as notices are issued.
- DOH is actively communicating with County Health Departments (CHDs) to pre-identify and pre-stage resources.
- The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has begun reaching out today to group homes in the counties potentially impacted by the storm to ensure all the necessary steps have been taken to ensure the health and safety of APD customers.
- APD Waiver Support Coordinators will reach out to individuals in independent living to ensure proper safety measures are being taken.
- APD has updated its Recovery Toolkit at www.apdcares.org to provide the last information about the hurricane, disaster preparations and resources after the storm.
- The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility. All state veterans’ homes are currently operational.
- The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) is working through its Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providers across the state to ensure implementation of emergency relief measures, including pre- and post-emergency calls with at-risk elderly or disabled clients to determine what preparations they have made and identify needs in advance of the storm.
- DOEA is also working to evaluate the ability of each AAA and local service providers to continue service delivery, including the provision of shelf-stable meals for clients receiving home-delivered meals.
- Using mapping software that links client addresses with FEMA evacuation zones, DOEA has provided data to the AAAs for elderly and disabled clients who reside in coastal and the flood-prone areas.
- DOAE has provided DOH counts of clients who are oxygen dependent.
- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has completed pre-storm beach surveys, and pre-storm prep guidance has been distributed to all hazardous waste, drinking water and wastewater facilities.
- Florida state park closures can be found at www.floridastateparks.org/StormUpdates.
- 559 Disaster Debris Management Sites have been pre-authorized for the 26 counties addressed by the Governor’s Executive Order.
- An online tool for the public to report the location of storm debris has been deployed.
- Pre-storm prep guidance has been distributed to local governments and all hazardous waste, drinking water and wastewater facilities.
- DEP has issued an Emergency Final Order which authorizes repairs, replacement, restoration, and certain other measures due to impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) continues to encourage businesses to visit www.FloridaDisaster.biz for disaster preparedness tips and register to receive updates as the storm progresses.
- The private sector hotline (850) 815-4925 is being activated to support disaster preparedness and response activities
- DEO is extending the deadline for local governments to submit applications for the $85 million Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program.
- VISIT FLORIDA has activated the Expedia/VISIT Florida Hotel Accommodation Web Portal to support evacuation orders.
- The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) offers a Hurricane Guide with information about hurricane preparedness, what to do as a storm approaches, disaster recovery, and helpful hurricane-related resources. DBPR has shared the Guide on social media and it is available at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/documents/HurricaneGuide_web.pdf.
- FDOE will be posting up-to-date information regarding school closures at www.fldoe.org/hurricaneinfo.
- The following school districts have announced closures:
- Martin County Schools will dismiss students early on Friday, August 30 and be closed on Tuesday, September 3.
- Volusia County Schools will be closed on Tuesday, September 3.
- The following state colleges and universities have announced closures:
- Daytona State College will close at 12 p.m. on Friday, August 30, and remain closed through Tuesday, September 3, 2019.
- Valencia College will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 31, and remain closed through Tuesday, September 3, 2019.
- University of Central Florida will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 31, and remain closed through Tuesday, September 3.
- Florida Atlantic University will close at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
- Florida Polytechnic University will be closed on Tuesday, September 3.
- Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran hosted a hurricane preparedness conference call today with superintendents, and college presidents to receive an update on their hurricane preparedness plans.
- DMS’ Division of State Group Insurance, has arranged for early prescription renewals starting today for members of the state group insurance program.
- The Office of Insurance Regulation’s Incident Management Team is fully activated and has representatives at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
- OIR team members will be actively working throughout the storm and beyond with consumer advocates, industry stakeholders and entities licensed under OIR’s regulatory authority.
- In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order, OIR has notified all health insurers, managed care organizations and other health entities of their statutory obligation to allow for early prescription refills during a state of emergency.
- Individuals who are interested in volunteering after the storm are encouraged to visit volunteerflorida.org where they may register to become a volunteer and search for volunteer opportunities. Volunteers should affiliate with an organization before deploying. Volunteers should not self-deploy.
- Volunteer Florida is working to coordinate with counties, partners and local CERT teams to secure volunteers and resources. Disaster relief organizations including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Florida Baptist, Adventist Community Services, Convoy of Hope, Crossroads Alliance, LDS and SBP are standing by.
- Crisis Cleanup will open their Home Cleanup Hotline (844-965-1386) on Sunday, September 1 to help individuals who experienced damage to their homes and property.
STATE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER / CONTACTS
- The State Emergency Operations Center has activated at a Level 2.
- The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number: 1-800-342-3557.
- The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
- Follow @FLSERT and @GovRonDeSantis on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Dorian.
- Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on emergency preparedness, shelters, road closures and evacuation routes.