Hurricane Irma: Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch In Effect
Update as of 11 p.m., Thursday, Sept 7.
All of the Florida Peninsula south of the Jupiter Inlet, including the City of Hollywood, was placed under a Hurricane warning and storm surge warning as of 11 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 7th. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions (sustained tropical storm force winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected within 36 hours in the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property need to be completed by Friday evening.
Hurricane conditions are expected in South Florida and the Florida Keys late Saturday. Hurricane Irma is expected to produce 8 to 12 inches of rain in South Florida with up to 20 inches in isolated areas. Maximum sustained winds are near 165 mph with higher gusts. Irma is a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful Category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide are forecast to cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach 5 to 10 feet above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
The City of Hollywood is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and is urging residents to complete their preparations for this dangerous, major hurricane.
A mandatory evacuation is underway in Broward County for Zones A and B. In Hollywood this is the barrier island and areas east of US-1. Under a mandatory evacuation, eastbound traffic onto the barrier island at Hollywood Boulevard and at Sheridan Street will be restricted. Motorists will be detoured at 13th Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard and 14th Avenue and Sheridan Street. Hollywood police officers will be working to ensure these evacuations run as smoothly as possible. The City encourages people in the evacuation zone, mobile homes or low-lying areas to heed these evacuation orders.
The County has opened 14 general population shelters. The closest shelters to Hollywood are:
Watkins Elementary School, 3250 SW 52 Avenue, Pembroke Park
Fox Trail Elementary School, 1250 Nob Hill Road, Davie
Plantation Elementary School, 651 NW 42 Avenue, Plantation
A complete list can be found on the County’s website: http://www.broward.org/Hurricane/Pages/EvacuationShelterInformation.aspx
Remember, shelters are a refuge of last resort and provide only very basic services. The first, best place to evacuate is to the home of a friend or relative outside the evacuation zone. If you do plan on going to a shelter, you will need to bring everything necessary to be comfortable including bedding, toiletries, snacks, etc.
Notification to Residents Living Near Construction Cranes
There are three tower construction cranes with booms located in downtown Hollywood. Crane booms are designed to withstand winds of up to 145mph. The towers are connected to the building under construction and are designed to withstand 175mph winds. These cranes will remain loose and will not be tied down during the storm. Residents living within two blocks of these cranes are advised of the possibility that these structures could fail in the event of sustained hurricane force winds. Those choosing not to evacuate should seek shelter in a reinforced structure.
Emergency Operations Center Activation
The City’s Emergency Operations Center will be at a level 1 full activation on Friday, Sep. 8th at 7 a.m. The City has activated its Hurricane Call Center. This call center can be reached by calling: 954.967.4EOC (4362). Broward County is also operating its Hurricane Hotline which is 311 or 954.831.4000.
Be Prepared, Be Safe
The City wants to encourage everyone in an evacuation zone, mobile home or low-lying area to evacuate. Continue monitoring the storm on various news outlets and check the City’s website www.hollywoodfl.org and twitter feed for updates.