The National Weather Service has issued a **TROPICAL STORM WATCH AND STORM SURGE WATCH FOR PARTS OF THE FLORIDA WEST COAST INCLUDING HERNANDO COUNTY**. A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within 48 hours. A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline within 48 hours.
Hurricane Michael is forecast to strengthen while moving northward over the Gulf of Mexico and will impact west central and southwest Florida Tuesday through Thursday. The primary concerns at this time are storm surge flooding along the Citrus and Levy county coasts, heavy rainfall causing localized flooding, and tropical storm force winds close to the coast.
There is potential for coastal and localized storm surge predicted to be 4 to 6 feet above normal levels. Coastal residents should expect to see ponding of water on roadways, especially near high tides. Access to evacuation routes throughout coastal areas may be limited. Damage to unanchored mobile homes, porches and carports is possible. Individuals in low-lying areas and those that feel unsafe in their location should begin making preparations to seek higher ground. It is extremely important for all residents to closely monitor this storm and potential impacts over the next few days and be prepared to act immediately.
The Executive Policy Group met today (10-8-2018) and took the following actions:
- In an abundance of caution, declared a local state of emergency for Hernando County
- Opened two sandbag locations, additional days and locations will be determined based on need:
- Anderson Snow Park, located at 1360 Anderson Snow Road in Spring Hill, until 6 p.m. today and Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Linda Pederson Park, located at 6300 Shoal Line Boulevard near Hernando Beach, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Park will be closed for recreational use during this time)
- Issued a voluntary evacuation order for coastal zone levels A and B for Tuesday beginning at 8 a.m. Visit https://www.hernandocounty.us/home/showdocument?id=436 to find your zone
- Secured a shelter location at The Enrichment Center, located at 800 John Gary Grubbs Boulevard in Brooksville, to open Tuesday at noon. This shelter will house special needs, general population and will be pet friendly. Additional shelter locations will be determined based on need
- Coastal residents should closely monitor the progress of this system through local media outlets, the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/tbw/ or the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- Check emergency supply kits and ensure plans and preparations to secure personal property are complete
- Do not drive into flood waters, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”
- Tide prediction data is available for:
- Hernando Beach: http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaatidepredictions/NOAATidesFacade.jsp?Stationid=872 7122
- Bayport: http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaatidepredictions/NOAATidesFacade.jsp?Stationid=872 7151
- Report storm damage to Hernando County Emergency Management at (352) 754-4083
- Visit http://www.HernandoCounty.us/EM to learn more