Published: Friday, 08 September 2017 00:40
As you know, Pinellas County pulled the trigger on evacuations in Pinellas in all areas close to the water (Level A) - the beaches, Snell Isle, Venetian Isles, all low-lying areas, etc. The County didn’t inform the City before they alerted Pinellas residents of the impending mandatory evacuation. Nevertheless, starting 6AM Friday, all mobile home residents and special needs folks are being asked to leave and go to a safe place or a shelter. Shelters open at noon on Friday. For our area, the schools they are opening as shelters are John Hopkins Middle School (special needs) or Gibbs High School.
Regarding the mandatory evacuations, we have been told that enforcement (meaning if you leave Snell Isle you will not be allowed to return to your home) will LIKELY not start happening until 8AM Sunday morning. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD WAIT TO LEAVE UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE - only that you need to get all your important papers and “things” and plan on where you are going NOW before the effects of the storm are upon us.
Of course, this storm, unlike any other that ANY of us have ever seen, is tracking with changes every 6 hours and those updates are at 5 & 11, both AM & PM, every day. The weather forecasters on our local Fox 13 affiliate at 11PM Thursday said that as long as the eye of the storm tracks EAST of Tampa Bay, it will cause very strong winds and rain for us but shouldn’t create extreme high waters. If this track stays east of us, we will fare far better than if it tracks into the Gulf of Mexico and the eye of the storm is WEST of us. Still we must prepare for the worst so please do not delay making all your final preparations, both securing on your property anything that is loose and could become a projectile. Also boats needs to be safely secured far more so than usual. Again, we will have strong winds and rain as it passes us on Sunday. Expect street flooding and remember that could be salt water you are driving through so avoid driving at all if you can. Certainly if you must, drive slowly and don’t make waves that could flood someone’s home!
Please make your plans NOW so you are ready with what is about to happen to all of us in Florida! Stay safe, use good judgement, drive defensively and please take care of one another.