Eta warnings remain for coastal areas; Alachua County adds storm to State of Emergency

Hurricane ETA
Hurricane ETA

The West Coast of Florida is experiencing wind gusts of 45 to 60 miles per hour from Tampa Bay to Fort Myers with tornado warnings as now tropical storm Eta makes its way toward Cedar Key.
 
According to Assistant Director of Levy County Emergency Management David Peaton, “The earliest reasonable arrival time of the impacts of TS Eta will be early evening today (Wednesday, Nov. 11th) into Thursday.
 
Peaton reports that storm surge is expected to impact Cedar Key/Yankeetown beginning for the Wednesday evening high tide cycle and continuing through Thursday with storm surge values of 4 to 6 feet.
 
No mandatory evacuations are expected, as of 3 p.m. Areas that are directly along the coast, campgrounds and RV parks in Cedar Key, and homes that are in danger of significant damage from strong winds or flooding, are encouraged to move to an alternate location until the event has passed.
 
Levy County Schools, government buildings, county parks, boat ramps, and courthouse operations will be closed on Thursday. For a full list of closures, visit levydisaster.com.
 
The Coastal Levy County Forecast, according to Peaton: Strong Tropical Storm wind gusts of 65+ mph as the rain bands move through. Sustained winds of up to 40 mph. Rainfall of 3 to 5 inches. Storm surge possible up to 6 feet.
Inland Levy County Forecast: Tropical Storm wind gusts of 45 to 60 mph as the rain bands move through. Sustained winds of up to 35 mph. Rainfall of 3-5 inches.
 
Public Information lines will be open at 11 a.m. today and stay open until otherwise noted. Those phone lines are 352-486-5155 and 352-486-5576.
This storm is changing constantly. The information that is valid right now may change a few hours later. Make sure that you and your family are prepared for the worst. Peaton’s next update will be at 5 p.m.
 
Alachua County
 
In response to TS Eta, Alachua County has included the hurricane into the existing Local State of Emergency. Alachua County is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning. Rainfall in this event is expected to be 1 to 1.5 inches with possible pockets of 2 to 3 inches. At this time, winds of 37 to 44 mph are expected at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. By noon they are expected to be 26 to 29 mph. Please secure your yard and bring in any items that could become projectiles.
 
Except for essential public safety services, all County offices will be closed tomorrow.   
 
Important information:  
*Public Schools, UF,  and  Santa Fe College are closed tomorrow.
*There are no shelter openings planned at this time.
*The 311 Rumor Control phone number is now active. Please use it to verify the most up to the minute information on Hurricane Eta. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. For emergencies that are not life-threatening, call 352-955-1818. 
*Tomorrow’s trash collection, yard clippings, and recycling have been postponed and will resume on Friday.  Collection Centers, the Household Hazardous Waste Center, and the Transfer Station are also closed tomorrow.
*All County parks and conservation lands are closed tomorrow.
*Public safety vehicles and responders will stay out unless wind speeds make responding too dangerous. The service will resume as soon as it is safe.
*If you live in a manufactured home or low-lying area, please make sure you have a contingency plan to stay with someone or in a hotel.

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