NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today visited the City of Marathon, Volusia County, and Nassau County to meet with emergency management officials as the state prepares for Hurricane Matthew, a life-threatening category four 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.

EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

MILITARY SUPPORT

  • Today, approximately 200 members of the Florida National Guard were activated to support hurricane preparedness and response.
  • Tomorrow, the Governor will activate an additional 300 National Guard members who will be staging across the state.
  • 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 and will be ready to assist our counties as they need it.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), and other partnering agencies are identifying resources for deployment if necessary to respond to the storm.
  • FWC has two advance reconnaissance teams actively deploying from Ocala with equipment to move debris from water access points in order to assist search and rescue missions. Additionally, FWC’s teams will be partnered with 164 field personnel that are on standby to provide humanitarian aid when needed.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) has made contact with local troops in preparation for supporting evacuations in the major corridors, from south to north and east to west. FHP has also placed all troops on alert and has 25 quick response force teams made up of 250 troopers on standby for deployment.

INFRASTRUCTURE: TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS

  • The state has held teleconferences with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) districts and agency partners – Army Corps of Engineers, Water Management Districts, Civil Air Patrol and Federal Highway Administration to ensure all infrastructure needs are met.
  • FDOT has halted construction work on all FDOT projects on Interstates, Limited Access facilities, coastal and evacuation route roadways effective immediately in preparation for the approaching Hurricane Matthew. Contractors are being instructed to secure all equipment and open travel lanes by removing all unnecessary barricades, signs and drums.
  • FDOT District offices are also testing and inventorying equipment, placing emergency crews on standby and monitoring flood prone areas. FDOT will continue to reach out to county emergency operations centers directly to coordinate any necessary response actions including activating traffic counters, providing local evacuation support and providing maintenance of traffic and other assistance.
  • FDOT is coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard to lock down Intracoastal Waterway bridges along the eastern Florida coast prior to sustained winds of 40 mph. Intracoastal bridges in Palm Beach County will be locked down by 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Road and bridge closure information can be found at www.fl511.com.

Florida Highway Patrol traffic incidents by region can be found here.

  • The Florida Turnpike Enterprise has ensured service plazas along the Florida Turnpike have Road Rangers and fuel. Additional fuel, Road Rangers and resources such as variable message boards to guide evacuees are on standby. If evacuation orders are given, the Florida Turnpike Enterprise is prepared to suspend tolls.
  • Army Corps of Engineers and Water Management Districts are monitoring waterways and are prepared to adjust flows as necessary.

HUMAN SERVICES

  • The state is establishing local points of contact with mass care organizations and volunteer agencies for potentially impacted counties.
  • 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 is also helping to identify churches and community centers with kitchens.
  • The state is working with Volunteers and Donation agencies to identify available volunteers through Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and AmeriCorps to staff shelters if needed. Thirty-nine AmeriCorps teams statewide are on call for anticipated response to Hurricane Matthew. Volunteer Florida grantee Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach is deploying AmeriCorps tomorrow to the Palm Beach County EOC and Special Needs Shelter.
  • The state is assessing available housing for responders and volunteers.
  • Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) are running projection models for human-service’s needs (food and sheltering) based on major hurricane impacts to Miami Dade County to Duval County, and Seminole County to Nassau County.
  • DACS is inventorying school food supplies in schools and state warehouses.
  • Volunteer Florida is working with Florida Citizen Emergency Response Teams (CERT) through DEM to put team members on standby to deploy to affected areas following the storm.
  • The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is communicating regularly with staff, providers, waiver support coordinators, and stakeholders about the hurricane and preparedness measures. Mutual Aid support from non-affected Regional Offices have been identified to support Regional Offices that may be impacted by the hurricane. Additionally, Regional Residential Planning Coordinators are assessing all available open beds in group homes statewide in case they are needed during or after the storm.
  • Three of the state veterans’ nursing homes operated by the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs are on the east coast of Florida. All of these facilities have permanent generators and administrators are working to ensure staff and supplies are available for residents.

EDUCATION SYSTEM

  • 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.
  • Any changes to college and school schedules will be made by district superintendents and college presidents in conjunction with their local Emergency Operations Centers.
  • Palm Beach County Public Schools has notified the state that schools will be closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Martin County Public Schools has notified the state that schools will be closing early tomorrow and will remain closed Thursday and Friday.
  • St. Lucie County Public Schools has notified the state that schools will be closing at noon tomorrow and will remain closed Thursday and Friday.
  • St. Johns County Public Schools has notified the state that schools will closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • The Florida School for Deaf and Blind has notified the state that schools will closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

BUSINESS, INDUSTRY, & ECONOMIC STABILIZATION

  • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) to help identify and alleviate unmet needs between businesses and response partners. They are also working with businesses to make sure they have what they need to prepare for the storm.
  • The state has activated the Private Sector Hotline at 850-410-1403. The hotline is available for business inquiries about the storm, preparedness information and post-impact information.

ELECTRIC & NATURAL GAS UTILITIES (Public Service Commission)

  • Utilities have been put on notice to start reporting outage and restoral information when notified to begin.
  • Utilities are contacting their mutual aid partners to determine availability if external resources are needed to restore services.
  • 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 today spoke with utilities across the state to ensure utilities are pre-positioned and there are not unmet needs.

FUELS

  • The state is contacting fuel industry partners (e.g., Florida Petroleum Council, Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association); there are no reported supply, distribution or retail fuel shortages or issues.
  • Monitoring fuel assistance requests; currently there are no requests for assistance.
  • The state has contacted emergency fuel and equipment providers for status of emergency fuel supply and equipment.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • The Department of Management Services’ Division of Telecommunications is currently monitoring telecommunication services to ensure first responders, residents and visitors are able to communicate response and recovery needs.
  • The state is coordinating with state, federal and industry partners, and is prepared to help assess impacts to telecommunications facilities and infrastructure following the storm. The state is also monitoring fuel assistance requests; currently there are no requests for assistance
  • Telecommunications partners are performing preventive actions and are on-standby to assist if required. At this point, no out of ordinary reports of any major outages.

SEAPORTS

  • The state is monitoring conditions at the following seaports and all are still open:
    • Duval – JAXPORT
    • Nassau – Port of Fernandina
    • Broward – Port Everglades
    • Palm Beach – Port of Palm Beach
    • Saint Lucie – Port of Ft. Pierce
    • Brevard – Port Canaveral
    • Miami-Dade – Port Miami
    • Monroe – Port of Key West

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

  • Routine inspections of the Herbert Hoover Dike are taking place and additional inspections will begin once the lake exceeds 17 feet. The lake level is currently at 15.78 feet.
  • Discharges from Lake Okeechobee are currently being maintained at current targets (West: 4,000 cubic feet per second / East: 1,800 cubic feet per second).

SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT (SFWMD)

  • SFWMD has elevated its readiness condition to Condition 4.  Condition 4 readiness actions include the following:
  • Upper East Coast: Water managers are gradually lowering canals as their current discharges are moderate.
  • Lower East Coast: Waterways S-151, S-31 and S-43 were closed yesterday. Discharge through S-38 will continue until Monday. Supplemental flow to the Florida Bay is being reduced to provide capacity for pre-storm draw down.

Field Station readiness actions include the following:

  • Inspecting key parts of the flood control system and critical flood control structures.
  • Inspecting canals and levees for any obstructions.
  • Inspecting heavy equipment.
  • Ensuring adequate fuel supplies for pump stations and other equipment.
  • Securing items vulnerable to high wind at pump stations and laydown yards in Homestead, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveyed beaches throughout entire Florida east coast and is reaching out to state parks to assess needs.
  • DEP has issued a partial closure for Sebastian Inlet State Park in Brevard County. There are no other park closures at this time.
  • Household Hazardous Waste debris and drop off sites have been being established in all 67 counties.

CONTACTS:

  • The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) has activated and can be reached at 1 (800) 342-3557.
  • State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
  • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Matthew.
  • Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/info to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.

###

 

 

 

Comments are closed.