Escambia County Community and Media Relations Hurricane Michael Update

posted by iHeartMEDIA Staff - 

Hurricane Michael Update #3

Essential Information

  • Escambia County Emergency Management is closely monitoring Hurricane Michael. The Emergency Operations Center is activated at a level 2, or partial activation, and will remain at a level 2 until at least noon on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
  • The Citizen Information Line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice. Residents with questions may call 850-471-6600.
  • Residents are urged to monitor our local media for the most up-to-date forecasts several times throughout the day.
  • Escambia County has issued an evacuation order for Zone A as of noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 9. Zone A includes Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key and low-lying areas. Visit myescambia.com/knowyourzone to look up your evacuation zone Shelters will be open this afternoon. Locations will be announced as they are able to receive residents. 
  • Escambia County remains under a Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Watch.
  • Everyone in the Hurricane Warning area along the Florida Gulf Coast should prepare for life-threatening major hurricane winds associated with the core of Michael. Hurricane-force winds will also extend well inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle. 
  • A high risk of rip currents and high surf advisory are in effect for the northern Gulf Coast through at least Thursday. Red flags are flying on Pensacola Beach and are expected through Thursday. Red flags represent high surf and/or dangerous currents, and there is no swimming or wading in the Gulf of Mexico in red flag conditions. Surf heights will increase to 8-10 feet late tonight into Tuesday, increasing to 10-15 feet Tuesday night into Wednesday.
  • The Escambia County Commission has declared a local state of emergency. Declaring a local state of emergency is a preemptive step that allows the county to make formal requests to the state and FEMA for assistance as needed if impacted by Hurricane Michael.
  • The tolls on the Bobs Sikes Bridge have been lifted by the governor until further notice.
  • Boat owners should remove small boats from the water and move them to a secure location. Ensure the trailer and boat are secured above likely flood areas. Remove all loose items. If your boat is too large to be removed from the water, move it to a safe haven well before the storm approaches. 

Evacuations

  • Evacuations have been ordered in Escambia County for Zone A beginning at noon today (Tuesday, Oct. 9). If you live in a mobile home or have special needs, you should consider evacuation no matter the zone in which you live.
  • Zone A includes Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key and low-lying areas. In Escambia County, we do not use the terms “voluntary” or “mandatory” with regard to evacuations. When evacuation orders are given, residents and visitors are expected to comply as it is a government order.
  • To look up your evacuation zone online, visit myescambia.com/knowyourzone.
  • Keep in mind it is always easier to go tens of miles, not hundreds. Consider going to a friend or relative’s home, a hotel, or as a last resort, a public shelter within the county. Public shelters can be crowded, noisy and uncomfortable, but they are safe.
  • Evacuation routes can be viewed here.
  • For a map of evacuation routes and zones, click here.

·         You must understand that when sustained wind speeds reach 39 mph or storm surge covers roadways, law enforcement, emergency medical services and fire departments may not be able to come to your aid.

Current advisories from NWS Mobile for Escambia County

  • Hurricane Warning 
  • Storm Surge Watch

Schools, Colleges & Universities 

  • Escambia County Schools will be in session for a half-day Early Release schedule on Tuesday, Oct. 9 and closed Wednesday, Oct. 10. All extracurricular activities are canceled for both dates.
  • All UWF locations will close at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 9 and remain closed on Wednesday, Oct. 10 due to Hurricane Michael. This includes all classes, events, campus activities and online courses. The University is expected to resume classes and normal business operations at 7:59 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11. All essential personnel are asked to report to work. 
  • All Pensacola State College campuses and centers will close at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and remain closed through Wednesday, Oct. 10. This closure includes all classes, evening classes, school activities, and online classes. At the present time, PSC is scheduled to resume normal operational hours on Thursday, Oct. 11. 

·         Pensacola Christian Academy will be open a full day on Tuesday. On Tuesday, a decision will be determined and communicated regarding Wednesday school.

Trash Service

  • ECUA Residential and Commercial sanitation services in Escambia County are canceled for Wednesday, Oct. 10. Wednesday’s collections will be made on Thursday, Thursday’s collections will be made on Friday, and Friday’s collections will be made on Saturday. Updates will be posted to the ECUA website and released to local media as necessary, should conditions change.

Closures

  • All Escambia County offices will close at noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 and remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 10. This includes all county departments and West Florida Public Libraries. Exceptions: ECAT will continue running regular service until the end of the day, with the exception of Route 59X, which is not running service. ECAT will not run service Wednesday, Oct. 10.
  • The Perdido Landfill will be open for normal business hours today, Tuesday, Oct. 9, and will close Wednesday, Oct. 10. The landfill will reopen for normal business hours Thursday, Oct. 11. 
  • Santa Rosa Island Authority offices will close at noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 and remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 10.
  • The Pensacola International Airport will be closed and cease all operations starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 until further updates are provided. Please check directly with your airline regarding all flight information.
  • All City of Pensacola administrative offices will close at noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 and will remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 10. 
  • City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Neighborhood Resource Centers will be closing at 4 p.m. today, Tuesday, Oct. 9. Parents with children attending after school programs should plan to pick up their children by 4 p.m. Tuesday. 
  • All offices of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller will close at noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 9, and will remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 10.  
  • All offices of the Escambia County Tax Collector will close at 3 p.m. and will remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 10. 
  • First Judicial Circuit: The courts in Escambia County will close at noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 and will remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 10.  Any available information on rescheduling of court appearances will be provided later today.
  • The Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office will close at 3 p.m. today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 and remain closed tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 10. Pursuant to a directive by the Florida Secretary of State, the voter registration deadline for the Nov. 6 General Election in Escambia County will be extended until the day the office reopens.

Cancellations

  • The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 5:30 p.m. has been canceled. 
  • The Eastside Redevelopment Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
  • The City of Pensacola Planning Board meeting scheduled for today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
  • The Hats and Heels Senior Prom planned for Thursday, Oct. 11 at Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center has been postponed and a rescheduled date will be announced soon. 
  • Soccer practices and clinics at Roger Scott Athletic Complex are canceled for Tuesday, Oct. 9 No adult games or practices at Exchange Park will be held Tuesday, Oct. 9.  

Military 

  • Naval Air Station Pensacola, Corry Station and Saufley Field will curtail normal operations and close the installations to all visitors and non-critical personnel at 2 p.m. today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 to include National Naval Aviation Museum, Lighthouse, Fort Barrancas, etc. NASP Child Development Center, Youth Center, Navy Exchange and Commissary will close today, Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. All facilities onboard the base will remain closed through Wednesday, Oct. 10. Pending significant changes in weather forecast, the base and all facilities will reopen and resume normal operations on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Sand Bags 

Escambia County is offering sand for sand bags for residents living in flood-prone areas. The sand will be available and distributed on a first come, first served basis. Residents must bring their own sandbags and shovels to one of the following locations (map):

  • Baars Field Athletic Park - 13001 Sorrento Road
  • Brent Athletic Park - 4711 N. W St.
  • Don Sutton Park - 2320 Crabtree Church Road
  • Equestrian Center - 7750 Mobile Highway
  • Escambia County Road Department - 601 Highway 297-A
  • Ferry Pass Middle School - 8355 Yancey Lane, sand will be on the northwest corner of school property on Parazine Street
  • John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Park - 555 E. Nine Mile Road 
  • Travis M. Nelson Park -  4541 County Road 4

When laid properly, sand bags can be an effective tool for flooding from a rain event, but not for storm surge. For more information on how to make and use sandbags, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (www.flash.org). Sand bags can be purchased at most local hardware or home improvement stores, typically for a low cost. 

 

Road ClosuresIn the event that standing water makes a road impassable or there are sustained winds (NOT gusts) of 39 mph making a bridge unsafe, the specific location will be announced as soon as it occurs. Online resources include: 

  • Check for Escambia County road closures 24/7 at www.myescambia.com/roadissuesmap.
  • City of Pensacola road closures can be viewed here.
  • For the latest closures and updates, travelers can access Florida's 511 service from cell phones, landlines and online at www.FL511.com.

 

Recreational Areas

  • The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier, Bob Sikes Bridge Fishing Pier and Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge will close no later than noon today, Tuesday, Oct. 9.
  • Gulf Islands National Seashore officials have closed all areas of the national seashore in Florida due to Hurricane Michael. All Florida areas, including the Fort Pickens campground, remain closed to all public access and use on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. Park status updates will be posted online atnps.gov/gulfislands and Facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS.  Additionally, the national seashore operates a severe weather hotline 850-934-2656. Gulf Islands National Seashore will reopen after the storm has passed and the staff has an opportunity to mitigate.
  • Blackwater Forestry Center: In anticipation of Hurricane Michael, the Florida Forest Service is shutting down its operations, offices, recreation and day-use areas in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties starting Tuesday, Oct. 9. The closure will last through close of business Thursday. All campgrounds, trails, swimming lakes, day-use areas and offices are included in this closure.

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