Conditions Expected in Key West...
HurricaneCity.Com Weather Audio Broadcast Network
Key West NWS Statement: Expect Conditions worse than Hurricane Georges
Posted by DavidK on 9/19/2005, 2:43 pmUser logged in as: DavidK
Expires 5:30 PM EDT on September 19, 2005
Statement as of 2:25 PM EDT on September 19, 2005
... Local effects of Rita in the Florida Keys will most likely be worse than those of hurricane Georges in 1998... ... A mandatory evacuation is in effect for all of the Lower and Middle Keys from Craig Key to Key West... ... A mandatory evacuation for all of the Upper Keys from Craig Key to Key Largo is to commence at 300 PM this afternoon... ... Flood Watch in effect for the Florida Keys... ... Hurricane Warning in effect for the Florida Keys...
... New information since last issuance... watches and warnings updated.Storm information updated.Precautionary/preparedness actions updated.Storm surge flood and storm tide impacts updated.Wind impacts updated.Marine impacts updated.Rainfall impacts updated.
... Areas affected... this statement is specific to the Florida Keys of Monroe County including the Dry Tortugas.
... Watches and warnings... a Hurricane Warning is in effect for all of the Florida Keys and adjoining waters... from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas... including Florida Bay. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions... winds of 74 mph or greater and storm surge flooding... are expected within the next 24 hours. A Flood Watch is in effect for all of the Florida Keys for late tonight and Tuesday. A Flood Watch means that conditions are favorable for heavy rains and possible flooding.
... Storm information... at 200 PM EDT... the center of Tropical Storm Rita was located near latitude 23.1 north... longitude 75.9 west... or about 340 miles east-southeast of Marathon... and about 380 miles east-southeast of Key West. Tropical Storm Rita was moving west-northwest near 14 mph. This motion is expected to continue during the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph... with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours... and Tropical Storm Rita could become a category one hurricane late this afternoon. The minimum central pressure was 993 mb... or 29.32 inches of Mercury.
... Precautionary/preparedness actions... a mandatory evacuation is in effect for all of the Lower and Middle Keys from Craig Key Key West. A mandatory evacuation of the Upper Keys from Craig Key to Key Largo will commence at 300 PM this afternoon. The Golden Panther Arena at Florida International University will be used as a staging area for general population only... this will transition to the Charles E. Perry building later this afternoon. The Monroe County emergency operations center has been fully activated. All interests in the Florida Keys should rush hurricane preparations to completion. Install hurricane shutters now... and secure loose objects which may become dangerous projectiles. Power will be out for an extended period of time... possibly a week or more in some places. At least three days of food and water should be obtained. City offices... County Parks... and state Parks are closed. County offices are closed. Hospitals in the Keys will be closing today. Monroe County schools are closed today and Tuesday. Tolls on Card Sound Road are suspended. Key West International Airport and Marathon Airport will close at 600 PM Monday. Greyhound reports excellent availability of seats on service out of Key West and the remaining Keys. Contact the Keys shuttle at 1-800-410-Keys. The Monroe County emergency management information hotline is available at 1-800-955-5504.
... Storm surge flood and storm tide impacts... a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet is expected Tuesday. This will inundate most roads and large sections of the overseas Highway. A storm surge of this magnitude has the ability to scour the approaches to bridges on the overseas Highway. This may leave portions of the overseas Highway impassable. Astronomical tides have been about 1 foot above normal in recent days due to the full moon. Therefore... a storm tide of 7 to 10 feet is possible should storm passage coincide with the time of high tide. High tides at Whale Harbor Channel are at 1045 PM today... and Tuesday at 1118 am and 1129 PM. High tides at Key West Harbor are at 1134 PM today... and at 230 PM on Tuesday... and finally 1208 am early Wednesday. Remember... the total storm tide equals the storm surge plus the astronomical tide.
... Wind impacts... residents of the Florida Keys can expect roof and moderate structural damage to homes and businesses. Mobile homes are not safe. Many will be damaged... hundreds may be destroyed. Large trees and power poles will be toppled. Sustained tropical storm force winds of 39 to 73 mph will begin early Tuesday morning over the Upper Keys... and by Tuesday mid morning over the middle and Lower Keys. Category two hurricane force winds of 96 to 110 mph are a distinct possibility... especially in the Lower Keys... Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night.
... Marine impacts... Jewfish Creek and Snake Creek bridges are locked in the down position. Considerable damage is likely to piers Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night. Marinas will be flooded. Small craft in unprotected anchorages will be torn from moorings. By Tuesday... seas will build to 15 to 20 feet beyond the reef... with seas of 25 to 30 feet near the center of Tropical Storm Rita.
... Rainfall impacts... a Flood Watch has been issued for all of the Florida Keys for late tonight and Tuesday. Rainfall amounts from 6 to 10 inches are expected with locally higher amounts possible. Most streets will be impassable from water and debris.
... Probability of hurricane/tropical storm conditions... the maximum probability of tropical storm force winds in the Florida Keys is 87 percent at Marathon and 84 percent at Key West. The probability of hurricane force winds is 34 percent at Marathon and 35 percent at Key West.
... Next update... the next local statement concerning the impacts of Tropical Storm Rita on the Florida Keys will be issued at 530 PM EDT... or sooner if new information becomes available. For additional information you may visit the National Weather Service Key West web site at www.Weather.Gov/keywest.