PBC Hurricane Irma County Update 9-9-2017
Palm Beach County Emergency Management officials continue to actively monitor Hurricane Irma and its progress toward South Florida. The Palm Beach County Emergency Operations Center is at full activation (Level 1).
Please do not become complacent and assume the worst won’t happen. Although the current models favor a more westerly track, this storm has been extremely unpredictable.
Palm Beach County can expect to begin to experience tropical storm force winds by 4 p.m. Saturday, and hurricane conditions by mid-day Sunday. Between now and 3 p.m., you should be where you intend to shelter.
A curfew will take effect at 3 P.M. today for the entire Palm Beach County area and will remain in effect until further notice.
Between now and 3 p.m., you should be where you intend to shelter. If you are going to a shelter, you should be there before 3 p.m. A person must have a legitimate purpose for being out past curfew hours. In addition to the curfew, the State of Emergency also prohibits the sale and/or distribution of alcohol as well as the sale and/or display of firearms.
This curfew is to ensure the safety of all citizens of Palm Beach County as well as the personal property and businesses in our county from looters and individuals taking advantage of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement in municipal areas will have zero tolerance for looting.
Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for residential structures in Palm Beach County in Zone A, which includes mobile homes and low-lying areas prone to water intrusion, and Zone B which generally includes the barrier islands, land areas north and south of the Jupiter Inlet, and other surge-vulnerable areas along the Intracoastal Waterway.
A voluntary evacuation is in effect for residents in Zone C. Zone C generally includes properties from the Intracoastal waterway west to US Highway 1 in South County and Central County, and areas in close proximity to the Loxahatchee River and the northern tip of the Lake Worth Lagoon.
The Glades area evacuation zone includes the entire Lake Region including the communities of Lake Harbor, South Bay, Belle Glade, Pahokee, Pelican Lake and Canal Point. These evacuees were bused to shelters in other areas of the county.
Approximately 800 people were transported Friday from the Glades to shelters at Seminole Ridge and John I. Leonard High schools by Palm Tran and the School District. This figure does not include private transports.
If you are not in an evacuation zone, please shelter in place. We strongly encourage all parties to avoid leaving the county at this point.
The current total occupancy of Palm Beach County emergency shelters is: 15683 Independence Middle School, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary and Westgate Elementary School are at capacity. Forest Hill and Seminole Ridge High Schools, while not full, we are working to spread the population to lesser occupied shelters.
Remember, there is still time to go to a shelter until the curfew. Palm Beach County can expect to begin to experience tropical storm force winds by 4 p.m. Saturday, and hurricane conditions by mid-day Sunday. Between now and 3 p.m., you should be where you intend to shelter.
If you would like to volunteer to help staff a shelter, please call the United Way Volunteer Hotline at 561-375-6621.
Palm Tran has suspended service as of 10:30 a.m. today.
The Coast Guard has confirmed that all bridges have been closed and locked down as of 8 p.m. last night. This prevents large vessel traffic but allows vehicles to pass over bridges. Also, all cruise ships have departed from the Port of Miami and Port Everglades.
The Army Corps of Engineers is comfortable with the level of the lake at this point. The lake right now can handle the expected rainfall from this storm. Based on the current track, any over wash in Palm Beach County has a low-likelihood of occurring.
During this time period, please do not fly drones. Tropical storm or hurricane force winds will make your drone a projectile and possibly injure someone or damage property.
Remember, there is still time to go to a shelter until the curfew. It is very important that you get to the place you intend to shelter before 3 p.m. today. Please do not become complacent. This storm is very unpredictable.
For continuing information on Hurricane Irma, and for more information on the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management and hurricane preparedness, please visit: www.pbcgov.com/dem, follow us on Twitter @PBCDEM and watch PBC-TV Channel 20.