Hernando County monitors and prepares for Hurricane Michael
Hernando County Emergency Management is closely monitoring Hurricane Michael as it begins to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico. A Tropical Storm Watch and a Storm Surge Watch has been issued for Hernando County. A Tropical Storm Watch means sustained winds of 39 to 73 MPH are possible within 48 hours. A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline within 48 hours. Heavy rains and above normal tides impacting coastal residents and communities prone to flooding during high tide are possible.
As the storm strengthens, tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive in Hernando County as early as Tuesday (10-9-2018) evening, bringing intermittent heavy rains with the storm’s bands. On Wednesday (10-10-2018), as the storm moves north, winds up to 35 MPH are expected with continued showers. Tides could reach up to 4 to 6 feet during high tide on Wednesday evening into Thursday (10-11-2-18), which could cause localized street flooding in flood-prone areas along the coast. If the storm strengthens or shifts east, impacts to the area could increase.
The Executive Policy Group met Monday (10-8-2018) and took the following actions:
- In an abundance of caution, declared a local state of emergency for Hernando County
- Opened two sandbag locations, additional days and locations will be determined based on need:
- Anderson Snow Park, located at 1360 Anderson Snow Road in Spring Hill, until 6 p.m. today and Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Linda Pederson Park, located at 6300 Shoal Line Boulevard near Hernando Beach, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Park will be closed for recreational use during this time)
- Issued a voluntary evacuation order for coastal zone levels A and B for Tuesday beginning at 8 a.m. Visit https://www.hernandocounty.us/home/showdocument?id=436 to find your zone
- Secured a shelter location at The Enrichment Center, located at 800 John Gary Grubbs Boulevard in Brooksville, to open Tuesday at noon. This shelter will house special needs, general population and will be pet friendly. Additional shelter locations will be determined based on need
Residents are urged to closely monitor this storm through local media outlets, the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/tbw/ or the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/. Take this time to review your family’s disaster plan, check emergency supply kits and ensure plans and preparations to secure personal property are complete.
Hernando County Government’s Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor and will keep you informed before, during and after the storm. Visit the following web and social media sites for more information.