Nassau County Emergency Management
For Immediate Release 10/5/2016
Contact: Dave Richardson
email: [email protected]
October 5, 2016 3:09 p.m.
In preparation for the approach of Hurricane Mathew skirting Nassau County, especially coastal areas, the Director of Nassau County Emergency Management Billy Estep this afternoon strongly advises citizens living along Amelia Island beaches and low-lying areas to begin evacuation efforts today. Estep says anyone living in less than structurally sound homes should also consider evacuating now.
Nassau County could experience water levels 5 to 9 feet above normal as the storm moves along Florida’s Northeast Coast beginning Friday morning. Estep warns that because heavy banding beginning Thursday evening and coinciding with a Nor’easter over the area, evacuation of Amelia Island could extend the time it takes for people to leave. With construction along the Highway 200 corridor, evacuation of the Island will be exacerbated. Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper says his officers will be controlling traffic flow from the Island
All Government Offices and Schools will close Thursday and Friday. Estep says the Emergency Operations Center has moved to Level One and will be staffed 24 hours a day as long as Mathew remains a threat.
Hurricane Mathew was located approximately 400 miles Southeast of Miami at noon today. The storm is moving Northwest at 9 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center expects the storm to begin to strengthen after moving over the Southeastern coast of Cuba and through the Bahamas. Winds are at 120 miles per hour, a strong Category 3 storm.
The EOC is currently at LEVEL 1 – Level 1 is a full-scale activation, requiring representatives from each emergency response and support specialty (e.g., law enforcement, fire rescue, transportation, utilities, health, animal care, business and industry, etc.) to report for duty in the EOC as outlined in Nassau County’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. Shifts for staff are typically extended to 12-hour periods around the clock until the crisis is under control. Emergency Management coordinates the responders in the field ensuring life safety and protecting infrastructure, while workers in the EOC are planning for the resources needed to address the objectives for the next operational period. This level of activation may continue for several days or weeks, into the recovery phase
NCEM staff members are participating in multiple conference calls with State EOC and National Hurricane Center throughout the day and night.
Matthew is a Major Hurricane (Cat. 4), with Maximum Sustained winds of 140 mph. The system’s center is currently located at 15.6 N, 75.0 W, and moving N at 6 mph.
Even without a direct hit, this system will bring strong winds and dangerous tides all along Florida’s Atlantic coast!
Please keep informed by monitoring this website, NassauEM’s Facebook page, @NassauEM on Twitter, and the NWS-Jax website
Nassau County Residents should have disaster supplies stocked/refilled this week (e.g., gallon of bottled water per day per individual, non-perishable food, pet food, manual can opener, medications, flashlights, radios, extra batteries, copies of important documents in Ziploc bags or on flash drives). Store supplies well above floor-level. Keep some cash on hand, cell phones charged, and fuel topped off in vehicles. Consider securing loose outdoor items or moving them indoors.
For current Hurricane Matthew tracking and forecast information from the National Hurricane Center, CLICK HERE