Pasco County declares local state of emergency ahead of Nicole

Pasco will open a shelter Wednesday night; Hernando will close county offices Thursday
Pasco County Emergency Management Director Andrew Fossa told Pasco commissioners what to expect from Tropical Storm Nicole as it approaches in the coming hours.
Pasco County Emergency Management Director Andrew Fossa told Pasco commissioners what to expect from Tropical Storm Nicole as it approaches in the coming hours. [ Pasco County ]
Published Nov. 9, 2022|Updated Nov. 9, 2022

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County commissioners on Wednesday declared a local state of emergency and announced plans to open the Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter in Hudson at 7 p.m.

While officials don’t plan at this time to order evacuations, they did decide to make the shelter, which is located at 11611 Denton Avenue, available for those who are concerned about flooding, wind and rain from the approaching storm. Pasco County is not accepting new special needs registrations for the shelter, and due to the possibility of high winds, the county is not providing transportation to the shelter.

The state of emergency allows county officials “ to take necessary action to ensure the health, safety and welfare” of Pasco residents, according to a release by Pasco public information officials.

Nicole is expected to bring increasing winds throughout the day Wednesday with potentially sustained tropical storm force winds sustained of 30 to 50 mph with potential gusts from 58 to 73 mph early Thursday morning.

Pasco County government will be closed on Thursday, and again on Friday for Veterans Day. Residents who want information on their trash pick up services should contact their hauling company directly.

Coastal Pasco could potentially see storm surge from 4 to 6 feet on Thursday as the storm moves across the area, while the Wednesday prediction is a negative surge of one to 3 feet. How much surge will depend on the track of the storm and how badly it is “beat up” as it goes over the state, Pasco’s Emergency Management Director Andrew Fossa told commissioners

Public works officials have been making sure drainage pumps and gates are operating in areas where flooding has been a problem, but with fairly dry conditions in recent weeks, little flooding is expected, Fossa said.

Pasco County has two, self-serve sandbag locations. They are the Magnolia Valley Golf Course, 7223 Massachusetts Avenue, New Port Richey, and Pasco County Public Works, the C-Barn at 30908 Warder Road, San Antonio. The sandbag sites are self-serve and open 24 hours. Sandbags are provided, but residents must bring their own shovels to fill the bags.

Pasco County schools and Hernando County schools will be closed Thursday because of Nicole and again Friday for Veteran’s Day.

Hernando County Government offices will also be closed Thursday and Friday. There will be no trash pickup on Thursday and the Hernando County Landfill and Convenience Centers will also be closed. These Hernando County services will reopen and operate as normal on Friday.

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