Sunday, November 8, 2009

Floridians Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Ida


Whether Ida maintains a storm or loses tropical characteristics, the Florida Gulf Coast region has the potential to see several inches of rain, strong winds, isolated tornadoes and dangerous surf and coastal flooding beginning Monday evening and continuing into Wednesday.

In the Panhandle, tropical storm force winds along with gusts to near hurricane strength are possible as early as Monday night. Rainfall totals of 3-6 inches that may lead to minor flooding of roads and rivers is possible through Wednesday. Storm tide values of 3-9 feet with moderate beach erosion and minor coastal flooding could also occur. Dangerous rip currents will be prevalent along all coastal areas statewide through the middle of this week.

The Florida Big Bend region could see tropical storm force winds Tuesday through Wed morning. Rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches may be experienced across the region, along with storm tide values of 6-9 feet along the Franklin and Gulf County coastline and 3-6 feet in Apalachee Bay. Isolated tornadoes are possible with any strong rain bands.

The Florida Peninsula may see tropical storm force gusts at any time through Thursday. A moderate to high rip current risk is expected along both Atlantic and Gulf Coasts through Wednesday.


The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee continues to monitor Ida through the State Watch Office and the Meteorology unit. The State EOC in Tallahassee will be activating to a Level 2, partial activation status at 4:00p.m. this afternoon. The Governor and his staff are participating in conference calls and are being briefed on Ida’s progress.

The State is continuing conference calls with county emergency management officials and state partners in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia on Friday. State officials remain in contact with our partners at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will continue to coordinate with them through the duration of this event.

State Emergency Response Team Regional Coordinator’s are located throughout the state and are being updated on the storm and will continue coordinating with local officials. State Management Team members have been identified and are prepared to deploy as needed if Ida were to impact Florida. Preliminary Damage Assessment teams have been identified to assess damage in the impacted areas as necessary.

The State Logistics Response Center in Orlando is fully stocked with needed supplies and commodities and staff is on alert status to activate it if conditions warrant.

Emergency Coordinating Officer’s from all state agencies will meet at the State Emergency Operations Center Monday morning for a briefing from the Interim Director Ruben D. Almaguer and the Interim Deputy Director/SERT Chief David Halstead.


Florida Gulf Coast residents and visitors need to closely follow Hurricane Ida and be prepared to implement their disaster plans and heed any evacuation orders.

Please remember to plan for your pets and check on your neighbors and the elderly.

Mariners need to make preparations to secure their vessels and remain in safe harbor as directed.

Residents and visitors should heed the advice of local officials in regards to evacuations and protective actions if conditions warrant. Those in low lying areas and mobile homes are urged to heed evacuation orders from local officials.

Land falling tropical systems typically spawn isolated tornadoes and many times these tornadoes can be far removed from the center of the storm. All residents are urged to have an all-hazards weather radio in their homes to receive the latest weather watches and warnings.

Remember, “Turnaround, Don’t Drown” if faced with a flooded roadway. It only takes a foot or two of moving water to sweep most cars off the road. Stay safe and observe all detours and closures.


“Residents across Florida are urged follow the progress of Ida and be prepared to implement their family disaster plans and heed local advisories,” said Ruben D. Almaguer, Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “All Floridians should take this storm seriously and not be caught off-guard over the next few days.”

BE SMART, BE SAFE, BE A SURVIVOR! For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: Governor Crist has proclaimed the month of August as Kid’s Weather Survival Month. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: .

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