Sunday, May 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

Hernando officials ask residents to begin preparing for Isaac

It might be a couple of days before Isaac has any impact on Hernando County. But it's not too soon to start planning, emergency management director Cecilia Patella said Thursday.

Check your emergency plans. Make sure supply kits are up to date. Pay attention to official forecasts. Be aware of the latest storm track.

As Hernando residents were beginning to put away supplies of batteries and nonperishable food, Patella and her staff were preparing the county's Emergency Operations Center for the potential onslaught of agency representatives who will be called in if the storm threatens.

Patella said her office was also monitoring the rising water on the Withlacoochee River at the Trilby and Croom gauges. Officials predicted that the river would reach "action" stage at some point Thursday, meaning residents along the river need to begin to prepare for the possibility of flooding.

The river remained 1 to 2 feet below flood stage Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Denise Moloney warned that people who have been flooded recently can expect to be flooded again if Isaac brings significant rainfall.

Now is the time to protect property, Moloney said.

Patella said the concern is that, with Tropical Storm Debby in late June and all of the rain that has come since, there will be nowhere for the water from Isaac to go.

"The ground is already saturated, which means that it will flood," she said.

High winds could also be an issue if the storm passes close enough.

As with every storm, Patella urged residents who might need to evacuate to find a friend or relative to provide shelter. Public shelters are considered a last resort and will be opened if needed, she said.

Also, since the last major storm threatened Hernando, the county has added a pet-friendly shelter.

The rules for the pet-friendly shelter, the form that pet owners must sign, registration forms for residents who might need to stay at a "special needs" shelter and a list of shelter locations can be found at hernandosheriff.org/em.

Other storm information is available at the National Weather Service site: nhc.noaa.gov.

Hernando school officials are also making preparations for the storm. Fourteen of the district's schools are used as emergency shelters.

Superintendent Bryan Blavatt sent out a letter to principals, asking them to urge parents to pay close attention to the news media over the weekend. He said there is a possibility school could be disrupted next week.

"We will make a decision as early as possible to prevent problems, but it is important to be prepared," Blavatt said.

Families will be updated about any closings or other news through the district's phone system.

The district is also preparing for what might happen down the road.

"If the classes are canceled, we've already started to look at the implications with the school year and how to deal with that," Blavatt said.

Patella also send email to county workers, reminding them to take care of their personal hurricane preparations as soon as possible so they can be ready to swing into action early next week if the storm affects Hernando County.

In anticipation of what might come, workers in the county's Utilities Department were making sure that all county water tanks are full and that all generators at sewage lift stations are fueled. Equipment that might be needed if the storm approaches has also already been loaded onto trailers, said Susan Goebel-Canning, environmental services director.

Silt screening has also been added at the Peck Sink storm drainage site south of Brooksville, where large mounds of dirt have been delivered to repair erosion damage that was caused by Debby and other heavy summertime rains, Goebel-Canning said.

In addition, workers at the Hernando County landfill have been busy building dikes and swales to be sure that water collected during the storm doesn't leave the site. That includes work to try to avoid a situation like the one that occurred during Debby, when water surrounding the recycling center at the site caused pickups to be canceled for several days, Goebel-Canning said.

Staff writer Danny Valentine contributed to this report. Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
A warm, muggy Saturday with maybe some rain this afternoon

A warm, muggy Saturday with maybe some rain this afternoon

Expect a nice day, but keep an umbrella handy, especially for later in the afternoon.The forecast from the National Weather Service in Ruskin calls for warm and muggy temperatures around the Tampa Bay area today and Sunday with daytime highs in the l...
Published: 05/19/18
Forecast: Rainy weather sticking around Tampa Bay this weekend

Forecast: Rainy weather sticking around Tampa Bay this weekend

TAMPA— The dark clouds and intermittent rain that consumed the work week won’t be taking any days off just because the weekend is here as more scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service....
Published: 05/18/18
Forecast: Warm and rainy as Tampa Bay heads into weekend

Forecast: Warm and rainy as Tampa Bay heads into weekend

As temperatures rise Thursday afternoon, so will the chance of rain across the Tampa Bay. Expect to see some heavy cloud cover and scattered showers around lunchtime, according to the National Weather Service.Thursday morning will start with relative...
Published: 05/17/18
Forecast: Blossoming thunderstorms across Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future

Forecast: Blossoming thunderstorms across Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future

ST. PETERSBURG — Scattered showers and overcast skies will continue well into next week, as a weak weather system trudging north through the Gulf of Mexico could drop around 6-9 inches of rain across inland regions of Tampa Bay.Although a large area ...
Published: 05/16/18
Forecast: Weakening system will still produce soaking rains across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Weakening system will still produce soaking rains across Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Following a day of soaking rain from a large low-pressure area that threatened to develop into an early tropical system, there’s some relative relief for the Tampa Bay area.The widespread rain that produced up to 6-8 inches in some a...
Published: 05/15/18
Dry no more: Tampa Bay is set to get soaked this week

Dry no more: Tampa Bay is set to get soaked this week

Tampa Bay’s dryspell ended emphatically on Monday.A low-pressure system churning its way up the Gulf of Mexico doused the region with up to three inches of rain Monday, according to the National Weather Service.The potential tropical system brought s...
Published: 05/14/18
Low pressure system in gulf has

Low pressure system in gulf has "medium" chance of strengthening into tropical or subtropical system this week

ST. PETERSBURG — Clouds, showers and thunderstorms in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico could strengthen into a tropical or subtropical storm affecting Florida in the next few days, National Hurricane Center forecasters predicted Sunday.In a 3:40 p.m. ...
Published: 05/13/18
Updated: 05/14/18
Forecast: Tropical moisture dampens Airfest, weekend plans across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Tropical moisture dampens Airfest, weekend plans across Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — A deep wave of tropical moisture that’s moving through Tampa Bay from the south is making for a dreary outlook for folks hoping to enjoy some sunshine for this weekend’s MacDill AirFest and the long-awaited opening of Julian B. Lane ...
Published: 05/12/18
Hurricane debate: Will we see intense seasons or quieter ones?

Hurricane debate: Will we see intense seasons or quieter ones?

Hurricane season is still three weeks away. But among hurricane scientists an intense debate has long been churning:Is the Atlantic Ocean in the midst of a long period of hyperactive hurricane seasons? Or have we entered a period of sedate storm seas...
Published: 05/11/18
Forecast: Sunny Friday leads to higher humidity, rain chance across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Sunny Friday leads to higher humidity, rain chance across Tampa Bay

TAMPA — As summer fast approaches, the weather in the Tampa Bay region is heating up. As a result, expect a typical summertime pattern today and into the weekend.Thanks to a high-pressure system moving over northern Florida, Tampa will get a warm sun...
Published: 05/11/18