Panama City, Fla. - This is an ongoing list of information from emergency management officials and others about Hurricane Nate. We will update this list and new information comes in. Be safe out there.
Emergency Operations Center Status
Current Level: Level 2 - PARTIAL ACTIVATION
The following shelters are currently OPEN: Davidson Middle School 6261 Old Bethel Road
Crestview, FL 32536
The shelter is for general populace, special needs, and is pet friendly. Pet owners are encouraged to bring with them to the shelter their pet's cages/kennels and any special dietary or medications for their pets.
Okaloosa County Emerald Coast Rider is available to provide transport to the shelter for any resident that needs transport. The number to call for transport is 850-833-9168.
Currently, all bridges in Okaloosa County remain open.
FYI, guidance from the Florida Highway Patrol, the criteria for bridge closures is as follows; For safety, sustained wind speeds of over 40 miles per hour will prompt closures of bridges.
At 10 AM CT Tropical Storm Nate was upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane. Walton County is now under a Tropical Storm Warning. We are still outside the Error Cone. Again, it is important to not focus on the cone. This is a very right lopsided storm and impacts from Nate can extend well outside the cone.
The earliest we could expect tropical storm force winds would be this evening. The National Weather Service in Tallahassee reports that Walton County can potentially experience sustained winds of between 25-35 MPH with gusts of up to 45 MPH.
With the current forecast we could experience a reasonable worst case scenario of 2-4 feet of storm surge with a more likely scenario of 1-3 feet above dry ground. These values have the potential to shift at the next advisory if the track moves.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed a significant portion of the county under a slight risk for sporadic tornadoes. This does not guarantee that we will experience tornadoes only that conditions will be favorable for the development of one.
A Slight Risk means scattered severe storms are possible. Short-lived and/or not widespread, isolated intense storms are possible.
Changes since last Update:
• Tropical Storm Watch Upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning
A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 34 to 63 kt (39 to 73 mph) or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal flooding, and/or river flooding.
Watches and Warnings for Walton County:
• Tropical Storm Warning
• Storm Surge Watch
Protective Actions as of 10 AM CT:
• No Evacuations Ordered
• No Shelters Open
• No Local State of Emergency Declared
• No County Office Closures
• No Road Closures (Storm Related)
• No Bridge Closures (Storm Related)
Now is the time to make sure you, your family, and your business are prepared. Check your disaster supply kit and continue to monitor Walton County Social Media, local media, and the National Hurricane Center. WCEM will continue to monitor this system and will provide updates as they become available.
To sign up for emergency and weather notifications go to www.alertwalton.org to sign-up.
To locate you evacuation zone visit www.waltoncountyem.org.
Bay County is now under a Tropical Storm Warning, according to the National Hurricane Center, and the intensity of Hurricane Nate is increasing. The storm is now expected to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, though the track of the storm has not changed. The National Weather Service (NWS) is “very confident” that landfall will occur near the Mississippi/Louisiana line.
beginning later this afternoon, from 4-8 p.m. Wind gusts will increase after midnight tonight, according to the NWS. Because the storm is traveling at 26 miles per hour, expected rainfall for Bay County has decreased to 1 to 2 inches. High tides this afternoon and early Sunday morning gustsAnticipated effects for Bay County include: tropical storm-strength (39mph) wind may be 2-4 feet higher than normal. Bay County residents should be prepared for thunderstorms with a slight chance of tornadoes.
The Pirate Festival is canceled.
Oktoberfest in downtown Panama City is postponed to Saturday October 21st due to weather concerns.
Creative Con is taking place as scheduled at the Marina Civic Center.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a coastal storm surge watch for Gulf County. They are expecting surge values of 2 to 4 feet above ground level. For Gulf County Citizens that live in low lying areas subject to coastal flooding, we encourage you to prepare yourselves in the event flooding occurs.
Gulf County Public Works has sand bags and dirt available for those who wish to fill their own sandbags, at Knowles Ave and Tenth St.
The Scallop Festival is Cancelled.
The "We Hate Nate" Party at Port Theater Saturday 7 Oct at 5:00 Sorry but the Scallop Festival is being closed due to tropical storm force winds making the venue unsafe. In its place we are moving the main acts to the historic Port Theater on Reid Ave and going on with the show.
Doors open at 5:00, Steve Monce and his band start at 6:00 Love and Theft go on at 8:00 $10 at the door, VIP holders drink for free and if you have already have tickets for Saturday they count.
The Bonifay Rodeo is canceled.
STATE OF FLORIDA
This evening, Governor Rick Scott received a full update on Hurricane Nate from the State Emergency Operations Center. Governor Scott also requested that President Donald Trump declare a pre-landfall emergency for the State of Florida to prepare and respond to Hurricane Nate. A pre-landfall declaration will provide important resources and assistance from the federal government and would free up funding sources for emergency protective measures.
The Governor will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials, city and county leaders, and utility officials who are also working to ensure the state is prepared to respond to any potential impacts from Hurricane Nate. Thursday, Governor Scott declared a state of emergency in 29 counties within the State of Florida in response to Hurricane Nate.
See below for more information on what the State of Florida is doing to support Hurricane Nate preparedness efforts:
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS BY STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
East of the Alabama/Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line
Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
East of the Alabama/Florida border to Indian Pass Florida
Storm Surge Warning in effect for:
East of the Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County border
Escambia County has ordered evacuations for Zones A and B in preparation for potentially dangerous storm surge.
Santa Rosa County has recommended evacuations for Zone A in preparation for potentially dangerous storm surge. This affects all mobile homes, campgrounds, RV parks, and those living in low-lying areas.
Click HERE to find your evacuation zone.
These evacuations affect roughly 100,000 people.
Nine shelters are open in the Florida Panhandle – in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties. Updated shelter information can be found here.
The American Red Cross is positioning movements and activities for staff, equipment and Emergency Response Vehicles to support local communities in the North Florida area, if needed.
The state is working to inventory food and water resources in state contracted warehouses (SCWs) and is preparing to coordinate with the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army on potential feeding needs. Salvation Army has 32 canteens and two field kitchens on standby in Florida.
Right now, approximately 120 National guard members are actively preparing for disaster operations and support of local Emergency Operations Centers.
The Florida National Guard has 7,000 guard members available for deployment if needed.
Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP), Corry Station and Saufley Field have curtailed operations and closed the installations to all visitors and non-essential personnel. Normal operations will reopen Monday.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) continues to monitor traffic and is coordinating with FDOT and local emergency operations centers.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is monitoring the storm and ready to respond as needed with a variety of specialized equipment, including shallow draft bots, ATVs, airboats, and four-wheel drive vehicles.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
Pensacola: Port Closed
Panama City: Port Closed
Pensacola Airport will close and cease all operations at 6 PM today.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is monitoring the storm and holding teleconferences with the regional FDOT district offices to ensure local communities are prepared.
FDOT has suspended interstate and highway construction in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties through Sunday, October 8 and will resume on Monday evening, October 9, to allow for the possible increase in traffic as motorists evacuate and return home from/to the Florida Panhandle coastline area.
FDOT will assist first responders with traffic control, detours or road closures, as long as weather permits.
For the latest closures and updates, travelers can access Florida’s 511 service from cell phones, landlines and online at www.FL511.com.
FDOT is also actively monitoring for roadway flooding in areas already impacted by Hurricane Irma and stands ready to respond as needed.
FDOT asset maintenance contractors have been contacted to support response activities.
FDOT will continues to reach out to county emergency operations centers directly to coordinate any necessary response actions, including providing maintenance of traffic and other assistance. Traffic counters are activated from the Florida Alabama line to Tallahassee.
POWER AND UTILITIES
Utilities have initiated mutual aid personnel to assist in potential recovery efforts with more than 900 restoration personnel ready to assist.
The state has contacted utilities to put them on notice to start reporting outage and restoration information if needed.
The state is monitoring the power grid for sufficient power in the state.
The state is monitoring the natural gas infrastructure for any damages that can cause a loss of service to power plants.
The state is contacting fuel industry partners, such as the Florida Petroleum Council, Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, to prepare for potential storm impacts.
The state is currently monitoring for fuel assistance requests. At this time, there are no reported supply, distribution, or retail fuel shortages or issues.
The state has also contacted emergency fuel and equipment provider for status of emergency fuel supply and equipment.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL
DOH is standing by to assist with potential needs of healthcare facilities and special needs shelters.
DOH AND AHCA have requested hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities (ALFs) in regions 1 and 2 to report their facility status daily at 10AM and upon any status change through the FLHealthSTAT database.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is working with Health and Medical Services to identify all nursing homes and ALFs that could be affected by possible electric outages.
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities regional offices have contacted waiver support coordinators, providers, and individuals living in independently to ensure customers are prepared.
The University of West Florida will be closed from Saturday, October 7th through Monday, October 9th.
WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS
Water Management Districts are monitoring waterways and water levels, preparing staff and vehicles, and are prepared to adjust flows as necessary.
Lake Okeechobee is currently at 17.00 feet and is being continuously monitored by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Lake Okeechobee water levels. The Army Corps will continue releases from Lake Okeechobee until further notice.
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
VISIT FLORIDA and Expedia will keep the www.expedia.com/florida site activated to provide available lodging information to evacuees and visitors.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) are working to provide updates to private sector partners. Information is available at www.flvbeoc.org.
The state has activated the Private Sector Hotline at 850-410-1403, which is available for business inquiries about storm preparedness and response.
Volunteer Florida is hosting teleconferences with the Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and emergency management partners to ensure local communities are prepared for the storm.
Florida Southern Baptists have two mobile kitchens on standby and are researching other state partners for additional resources. Twelve staging sites have been identified in three counties in the Panhandle.
Feeding Florida is relocating assets and has food staged at Escambia and Big Bend of Tallahassee, including meals ready to eat, meal boxes, and snacks.
The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
Follow @FLSERT or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates on Hurricane Nate.
Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.
The show will be at the AMIkids building on 200 East Beach Drive.
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