Hurricane Irma: Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch In Effect
Update as of 4 p.m., Friday, Sept 8.
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 the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property need to be completed by Friday evening.
Tropical Storm conditions are expected Saturday with hurricane conditions possible in South Florida and the Florida Keys late Saturday and into Sunday. 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 currently near 150 mph with higher gusts. Irma is a Category 4 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 hurricane as it approaches Florida.
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 could reach 5 to 8 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 is expected to 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 additional general population shelters. The closest shelters to Hollywood are:
Beachside Montessori Village, 2230 Lincoln Street, Hollywood
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
Some shelters have filled, an updated status for shelters is 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 is fully activated. 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 to Be Safe
-Extremely dangerous and life-threatening wind is possible. Failure to seek adequate shelter may result in serious injury and possible loss of life. Residents are advise to seek appropriate
shelter before the wind becomes hazardous.
-Keep cell phones well charged and handy. Also, cell phone chargers for automobiles can be helpful after the storm. Locate your chargers
and keep them with your cell phone.
-In emergencies it is best to remain calm. Stay informed and focused on the situation at hand. Exercise patience with those you encounter.
Be a good neighbor and help others.
If relocating to a nearby shelter or to the home of a family member or friend, drive with extra caution, especially on secondary roads. Remember, many bridges and causeways will be closed once higher winds arrive. Also, if you encounter water covering the road, seek an alternate route. Always obey official road signs for closures and detours.
The City wants to encourage everyone to continue monitoring the storm on various news outlets and check the City’s website www.hollywoodfl.org and twitter feed for updates.