How to prepare for potential Hurricane Hermine’s impact on Treasure Coast

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Depression 9 could turn into a major hurricane – at least a Category 3 – early next week on its planned approach to Florida, and emergency handlers across the Treasure Coast are urging residents to prepare. as soon as possible.

As of 11am on Friday, the tropical depression was moving west at 35 mph across the Caribbean Sea south of the Dominican Republic.

According to the NHC, the storm was expected to approach Jamaica as a tropical storm on Sunday and the Cayman Islands as a hurricane on Monday.

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The potential hurricane Hermine could approach Florida’s west coast early next week “with the potential significant impact of storm surges, hurricane winds and heavy rain,” the forecasters said.

The effects of a hurricane could be felt along Florida’s east coast even as the storm persists in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said.

According to emergency management staff, residents of Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin are expected to implement hurricane plans as forecasters continue to monitor the tropical depression.

“By Sunday we will have a better idea of ​​how this system will impact our area,” said Kathy Copeland, a spokesperson for Indian River County.

County hurricane preparedness guidelines include a list of county emergency shelters, and officials recommend residents prepare hurricane kits containing batteries, flashlights, medications, and at least seven days of non-perishable food and water.

St. Lucie County staff will be working 24 hours a day this weekend, and Director of Public Safety Rangel Guerrero urged residents to stay calm as they prepare.

“The National Hurricane Center has put Florida, including St. Lucie County, in the system’s cone of uncertainty, and it’s still too early to determine the exact effects,” Guerrero said Friday.

As of Friday, the county had no plans to open emergency shelters for this storm, according to Guerrero, but that could change.

“Everyone should review their hurricane preparedness plans, making sure their hurricane kit is ready and up to date with the necessary items such as water, non-perishable items, first aid kits and medications,” Guerrero said. “People should also monitor local news for updates and listen to public officials.”

Also, according to St. Lucie County spokesman Erick Gill, residents shouldn’t cut trees or clear piles of vegetative debris. Such discarded items can become dangerous bullets if the area experiences strong winds, officials said.

If Martin County opens one of its emergency shelters, its emergency management website would show which ones are available, as well as weather and resource updates, said Sally Waite, director of emergency management.

Martin County emergency personnel are already planning to distribute sandbags to contain the floods, he said. Residents have already called to inquire about them, she said.

“It appears to be one of our most sought-after assets,” Waite said. “The weather service predicts that we will have a lot of precipitation from this.”

Lina Ruiz is TCPalm’s control reporter for Martin County. You can reach her at [email protected], on Twitter @ Lina_Ruiz48 or at 321-501-3845

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