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Hernando County officials provide update on Tropical Storm Elsa


County Administrator Jeff Rogers and Acting Emergency Management Director Erin Thomas give the first press conference a day before the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa.  Thomas said that weather conditions will begin to deteriorate Tuesday evening, July 6, and continue into Wednesday morning.

As of 9:00 am today (July 5, 2021), a local state of emergency has been declared. Hernando county is under a tropical storm watch as well as a storm surge watch.  Currently, voluntary evacuation orders are in place for residents living in Coastal Zone A, low-lying areas or in mobile homes county wide.   The Enrichment Center at 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd. in Brooksville will open at 9:00 AM to serve as a storm shelter, serving all residents, including those with special needs and pets. 

Residents requiring transportation assistance can call the Emergency Operations Center and register at 352-754-4083.  Alert Hernando is another service offered by the county, where emergency alerts are sent to an individual’s mobile phone.  Sign up here: https://www.hernandocounty.us/i-want-to/sign-up/alert-hernando 

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EOC ALERT 6 – Tropical Storm Elsa

CURRENT SITUATION
Elsa is located approximately 350 miles south of Fort Myers moving northwest at 14 mph. Elsa remains a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is expected to traverse Cuba today and experience some weakening. Late tonight, Elsa will move back over water and head north over the eastern Gulf of Mexico where slight re-strengthening is possible.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for coastal Hernando County at this time. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions (39 – 73 mph winds) are expected within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for inland Hernando County. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 48 hours. A moderate risk of tornadic activity is also possible.

A Storm Surge Watch is also in effect for Hernando County at this time. A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline within 48 hours. Above normal tides, combined with heavy rainfall could flood coastal roads Tuesday night and throughout the day on Wednesday. A strong tropical storm moving offshore into the Gulf of Mexico has potential to produce up to 3 feet of storm surge once winds arrive on shore over multiple high tide cycles.

VOLUNTARY EVACUATIONS
A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for coastal zone A, mobile homes, low-lying and flood prone areas countywide.

SHELTER INFORMATION
A general population, special needs and pet-friendly shelter will open beginning at 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 6, 2021 for residents in these zones at the location listed below. Visit https://bit.ly/2JYEKGN to find the location of your evacuation zone.

Enrichment Center
800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34601

Tips for shelter residents
Bring identification
Eat prior to arrival. The first meal will be dinner
Bring air mattress or sleeping bag, cots will not be provided for general population
Bring medicines, blanket/sheet, snacks, water and personal hygiene products
Call the special needs registry at (352) 754-4083 to request transportation
Make every effort to carpool due to limited parking

SANDBAG AVAILABILITY
In preparation for potential heavy rains, a limited supply of sandbags will be available through Tuesday, July 6, 2021 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the following location. This self-serve sandbag site will be remain open until weather conditions begin to deteriorate. Sandbag sites are self-serve only, please bring your own shovel.

Linda Pedersen Park
6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Spring Hill, FL 34607

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
Know your home, know your zone. Learn more at https://bit.ly/34vtLBV
Residents living along the river and in low-lying, flood prone areas are urged to closely monitor river levels and take precautions as needed to protect life and property. Be prepared to move to higher ground if necessary.
Do not drive through standing water. Turn around, don’t drown.
Monitor river gauges at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=tbw
Register for automated severe weather notifications at http://www.AlertHernando.org
Take this opportunity to refresh your emergency supply kit. For more information, visit http://www.HernandoCounty.us/EM
Residents are encouraged to monitor to local media outlets or the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/tbw/ for current weather information.

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