Thursday, May 24, 2018
Public safety

Fearing Tropical Storm Isaac's rain, Pasco declares state of emergency

NEW PORT RICHEY — County Commissioners on Friday declared a local state of emergency in advance of possible heavy wind and rain from Tropical Storm Isaac.

The declaration allows administrators to prepare for Isaac bringing rain to already-soaked areas of Pasco. County Administrator John Gallagher said he asked for the emergency declaration earlier than usual "because our ground is very wet" from Tropical Storm Debby and subsequent rainstorms.

Emergency management director Annette Doying said weather forecasters say Isaac is a "very large and very sloppy or disorganized storm." But that doesn't mean it won't cause damage.

The current forecast shows Isaac passing west of Tampa Bay, but the region would be in the northeast quadrant of the storm, which can be the most powerful. Doying said the outer reaches of the storm can also have the heaviest rainfall with also the chance of isolated tornadoes.

"We are on the wrong side of the storm," she said. "I'm feeling very cautious for how rainfall will affect us. I'm concerned about it."

Officials will decide by Sunday afternoon whether to order an evacuation of special-needs residents and those living in evacuation Level A, which includes coastal areas and mobile homes countywide. Officials said people would have to be out of harm's way no later than noon Monday before rains arrive that afternoon.

Public works director Michael Garrett said there are 20 pumps throughout the county to reduce water levels in flood-prone areas. There will be 400 barricades available before the storm hits. Workers are staffing a resident information line over the weekend and have sand and sandbags available at 10 locations.

The emergency declaration lasts for seven days, and Gallagher has the power to extend it for another week.

Lee Logan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.



Prepare for the storm

For information on how to prepare for the storm, call the county's resident information center at (727) 847-2411 or (727) 847-8959. The line will be staffed from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. through the weekend.

Sand and sandbags are available this weekend at the following locations, which will be open daily until 8 p.m. The limit is 20 bags per household. Bring your own shovel.

• West Pasco Government Center, 7536 State St., New Port Richey

• Zephyrhills Fire Station No. 1, 6907 Dairy Road, Zephyrhills

• Fire Station No. 10, 7918 Rhodes Road, Hudson

• Fire Station No. 17, 2952 Seven Springs Blvd., New Port Richey

• Fire Station No. 25, 34335 Chancey Road, Zephyrhills

• Land O'Lakes Recreation Complex, 3032 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes

• Dade City Police Station, 38042 Pasco Ave., Dade City

• C-Barn county fleet building, 30906 Warder Road, San Antonio

• Wesley Chapel District Park, 7727 Boyette Road, Wesley Chapel

• Veterans Memorial Park, 14333 Hicks Road, Hudson

• Jack Mitchell Park, 4025 Little Road, New Port Richey

Prepare for the storm

For information on how to prepare for the storm, call the county's resident information center at (727) 847-2411 or (727) 847-8959. The line will be staffed from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. through the weekend.

Sand and sandbags are available this weekend at the following locations, which will be open daily until 8 p.m. The limit is 20 bags per household. Bring your own shovel.

• West Pasco Government Center, 7536 State St., New Port Richey

• Zephyrhills Fire Station No. 1, 6907 Dairy Road, Zephyrhills

• Fire Station No. 10, 7918 Rhodes Road, Hudson

• Fire Station No. 17, 2952 Seven Springs Road, New Port Richey

• Fire Station No. 25, 34335 Chancey Road, Zephyrhills

• Land O'Lakes Recreation Complex, 3032 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes

• Dade City Police Station, 38042 Pasco Ave., Dade City

• C-Barn county fleet building, 30906 Warder Road, San Antonio

• Wesley Chapel District Park, 7727 Boyette Road, Wesley Chapel

• Veterans Memorial Park, 14333 Hicks Road, Hudson

• Jack Mitchell Park, 4025 Little Road, New Port Richey

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