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  • Alert St. Lucie (Emergency Notification System)

St. Lucie County Hurricane Isaias Update No. 2

Post Date:08/01/2020 3:05 PM

St. Lucie County’s Public Safety staff continues to monitoring Hurricane Isaias, which is expected to impact the Treasure Coast with tropical force storm winds and rains tonight into Sunday morning. However, there is the possibility that hurricane conditions could impact the region if the storm tracks closer to the east coast. The more severe impacts are expected to be felt east of U.S. 1 and along the barrier island.

St. Lucie County’s Emergency Management staff urges residents to shelter in place during this event. Due to concerns surround COVID-19 and the projected impacts of this storm, there are no plans to open shelters or issue evacuations. Residents should be making last-minute preparations securing their homes and yards.

St. Lucie County remains under a Hurricane Warning and Tropical Storm Warning. While the storm’s center is not predicted to make a Florida landfall, Isaias’ hurricane-force winds extend 25 miles from its core, and its tropical-storm-force winds can reach up to 115 miles. The storm is expected to produce periods of heavy rain up to 6 inches during the tropical force winds that could last anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. These gusts will be anywhere from 55 to 70 mph and the anticipated storm surge is 2 to 4 feet.

If residents feel that their home is not safe; they are encouraged to stay with friends or family inland. However, please remember to follow social distancing guidelines related to COVID-19 and wear facial coverings when interacting with people outside of your home.

A local state of emergency was declared today at noon and the Emergency Operations Center has moved to a full, level 1 activation with a majority of the staff working virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Public Information Lines (772-460-4357 or 772-460-HELP) are open Saturday, Aug. 1 from until 6 p.m., and will reopen on Sunday, Aug. 2 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Closures

  • St. Lucie County Parks & Recreation Department has canceled public programs scheduled for Saturday and Sunday including all three county pools (Ravenswood, Lakewood Park and Lincoln Park); the St. Lucie County Aquarium and Regional History Center.
  • Indian River State College has announced that all campuses will be closed on Monday, Aug. 3, to allow for a complete physical assessment of the college as soon as conditions allow. Student services including Virtual Information Sessions and Virtual Welcome Desks are also canceled for Monday; however students may continue to self-register online for fall term classes. The college expects to reopen on Tuesday, Aug. 4, once campuses are determined to be safe and secure. Students, faculty, employees, and guests should stay tuned to WQCS, IRSC social media and the IRSC website (www.irsc.edu) for additional updates.

Post Storm

After the storm passes: please be advised that there may be a dangerous environment outdoors so please avoid standing water, downed or hanging power lines and traveling down flooded roadways.

Food Safety: Preventing Foodborne Diseases

  • People should not eat any food that may have come into contact with contaminated water from floods or tidal surges.
  • Commercially prepared cans of food should not be eaten if there is a bulging or opening on the can or screw caps, soda bottle tops or twist-caps.
  • Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if labels are removed and cans are disinfected in a bleach solution. Use 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water; re-label the cans including expiration date and type of food. Assume that home-canned food is unsafe.
  • Infants should preferably be breast fed or fed only pre-mixed canned baby formula. Do not use powdered formulas prepared with untreated water, use boiled water instead.
  • When the power is out, refrigerators will keep foods cool for approximately 4 hours. Thawed and refrigerated foods should be thrown out after 4 hours.

Sanitation and Hygiene: Preventing Waterborne Illness

  • Basic hygiene is very important during this emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water. Use only water that has been boiled or disinfected for washing hands before eating, after toilet use, after helping in cleanup activities and after handling items contaminated by floodwater or sewage.
  • Flood water may contain fecal matter from sewage systems, agricultural and industrial waste and septic tanks. If you have open cuts or sores exposed to the floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and disinfected or boiled water.
  • Apply antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection. If a wound or sore develops redness, swelling or drainage, see a physician.
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater. They can be exposed to water contaminated with fecal matter.
  • Do not allow children to play with toys that have been in floodwater until the toys have been disinfected. Use 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to disinfect toys and other items.

Power Outages: Preventing Fire Hazards

  • Using battery-powered lanterns and flashlights is preferred.
  • NEVER use candles.
  • Fort Pierce Utilities Authority customers can report outages to 772-466-7703 or www.fpua.com.
  • Florida Power & Light customers: Immediately after a storm, FPL knows if main power lines have been damaged. If you believe your power is out for this reason, there is no need to contact them. Once all major power lines are restored, smart meters and smart grid technologies will help FPL crews identify outage locations for faster repair and restoration. They will also help crews ensure that all customers are restored before leaving affected areas. However, if you are still without service after your neighborhood or area of business has been mostly restored, please report the outage on the FPL app, at www.FPL.com/Storm or call FPL at 1-800-4-OUTAGE.
  • Anyone using a generator is reminded to keep them outdoors. Generators should never be run inside the home or garage or next to an open window. Also please allow time for the generator to cool down before refueling.

Post Flood Clean-up

  • Clean up debris carefully to avoid injury and contamination.
  • Chainsaws should only be operated in safe conditions (not in water soaked areas) and by people who are experienced in proper use.
  • Lift heavy debris by bending knees and using legs to help lift.
  • Wear shoes to avoid injury to the feet from glass, nails or other sharp objects.
  • Avoid contact with downed power lines.
  • Be alert to wildlife (snakes, alligators, etc.) that may have been displaced as a result of the flood or storm. If you see a snake or other wildlife, back away from it slowly and do not touch it. If the snake is in your home, immediately call the animal control agency in your county.

Updates can be found on St. Lucie County’s website – www.stlucieco.gov/hurricane as well as social media channels.

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