The City of Marathon and Monroe County have declared a state of local emergency
The City of Marathon has activated its Emergency Operations Center at City Hall. Monroe County has also activated its Emergency Operations Center in the Marathon Government Building. Both are being staffed during regular business hours and will move to 24-coverage as the storm nears. The governments as well as other agencies are coordinating resources, staff and information for the safety of its citizens and the protection of property.
“In accordance with County Emergency Management guidance, we are asking residents to consider evacuating as soon as their preparations are complete,” said Marathon City Manager Chuck Lindsey. “I have a special message for those residents who don’t typically evacuate: Heed evacuation notices, Hurricane Irma’s current conditions are unlike anything Florida Keys residents have ever seen; lets play it safe.”
Lindsey said the while it is still too early to accurately predict storm surge, we are making preparations for potential high water, and will get that information out as soon as it becomes available.
- Monroe County has ordered mandatory evacuation for tourists and non-residents beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning. A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for residents beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
- Monroe County Emergency Operations Center is open. The hotline number is 1-800-955-5504.
- Shelters WILL NOT OPEN in the Florida Keys during Hurricane Irma.
- Monroe County Schools are closed until further notice.
- Key West International Airport closes to commercial traffic on Wednesday at 5 p.m., although officials hope to extend those hours. Both the Marathon and Key West airports will remain open to general aviation as conditions allow.
- All three Keys hospitals intend to close. Patients are being evacuated. The Lower Keys Medical Center has said it will reopen on Monday, Sept. 11.
- As of the 5 p.m. advisory, Hurricane Irma is located 130 miles east of Antigua. It has maximum sustained winds of 185 mph and is moving west at 15 mph. It is a Category 5 hurricane. Sustained tropical force winds will arrive in Marathon by Saturday afternoon. According to the current track and speed of the storm, the highest impacts are predicted in the Keys early Sunday.
Please stay tuned for information about when the mainland hurricane shelter opens, and where it is located; also look for details about public transportation via bus to the mainland. Also, listen for information regarding the lock down of Snake Creek Bridge when the bridge will no longer open for boat traffic. Currently there is no planned stoppage of Southbound traffic into the Florida Keys. The road will remain open southbound until conditions no longer allow it.