A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Zeta, which is currently tracking toward the Gulf Coast and is forecast to be a hurricane prior to making landfall between Louisiana and the Mississippi/Alabama border late Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center
. Zeta will likely move into our area as a strong tropical storm late Wednesday night. Escambia County is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Zeta and is encouraging residents to take precautions as needed through Thursday morning, Oct. 29.
A special needs, pet-friendly and general shelter will open at the Pensacola Bay Center, located at 201 E. Gregory St., at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28 and is expected to close Thursday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. It is advised to be in your safe place by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28 when the winds are expected to increase and some models show the storm moving out of our area as early as 3 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29.
The National Weather Service of Mobile has forecast the following local impacts:
- A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect through Thursday morning
- A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for coastal AL to Navarre, FL with 2-4' of storm surge for Escambia County
- Local threat of dangerous surf, damaging winds, rip currents and heavy rain
- Potential 2-3 inches of rain and some tropical storm winds
- High risk of rip currents Tuesday through Thursday
- High surf of 8-12 feet through the end of the week
- Isolated tornadoes possible
"Escambia County declared a local state of emergency
at 8 a.m. this morning out of an abundance of caution and to make sure resources can be in place if needed due to Zeta," said Eric Gilmore, Escambia County Emergency Manager. "The Emergency Operations Center will be activated at a level 2 for Zeta with our partners tomorrow. Isolated power outages are expected due to the possibility of downed trees and power lines from the wind. For those residents who experienced damage due to Hurricane Sally, I'd like to remind you to take current photos for insurance and assistance reasons. Each storm is categorized as their own. Now is the time to prepare your disaster kits and make plans with friends and family."
View the virtual press conference from Oct. 27 at 11:30 a.m. at https://youtu.be/_vclLHYq574
. County offices will be open Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Residents are encouraged to prepare their disaster kits now, which should include seven days of food and water supplies for after the storm arrives. Residents are also encouraged to fuel all vehicles and generators, and prepare all medications needed by family and pets. Individuals should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time. Remember, this year's disaster kit might need to look a little different if you must go to a shelter—make sure to include face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
Sand is available at the following locations:
- Baars Field Athletic Park - 13001 Sorrento Road, Pensacola
- Brent Athletic Park - 4711 N. W St., Pensacola
- Don Sutton Park - 2320 Crabtree Church Road, Molino
- Equestrian Center - 7750 Mobile Highway, Pensacola
- Escambia County Road Department - 601 Highway 297-A, Pensacola
- Ferry Pass Middle School - 8355 Yancey Lane, Pensacola, sand will be on the northwest corner of school property on Parazine Street
- John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Park - 555 E. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola
- Travis M. Nelson Park - 4541 County Road 4, Pensacola
The sand is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Residents must bring their own sandbags and shovels to one of the following locations. View map of sand locations here.
With the possible approach of Tropical Storm Zeta, the county is focusing on debris management collections
. As of Monday, Oct. 26, Escambia County has collected approximately 2,643,380 cubic yards of debris throughout the county. Contractors will still be collecting debris in all areas of the county
; however, this storm is predicted to make landfall on Wednesday. Residents are encouraged to use the debris collections sites that have been advertised. If residents would like to drop off vegetation, they can do so from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week at the following locations.
Residents need to bring ID and proof of residency.
- Baars Field, 13020 Sorrento Road (behind the Sheriff's substation)
- Escambia County Equestrian Center, 7750 Mobile Highway
- John R. Jones Athletic Complex, 555 E. Nine Mile Road
- Lexington Terrace, 900 S. Old Corry Field Road
- Oak Grove Convenience Center, 745 County Road 99
- Park East, Via De Luna Pensacola Beach
- Brent Athletic Park - 4711 N. W St., Pensacola
All debris may also be taken to the Perdido Landfill. The Perdido Landfill is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, located at 13009 Beulah Rd., Cantonment, FL 32533.
Escambia County lifted the burn ban
for the remainder of the county. No burn restrictions will be in place other than residents must follow the Florida Forest Service regulations for open burning. Please note: per city ordinance, open burning is not allowed within City of Pensacola limits.
Follow These Tips to Prepare for a Storm
- Know Your Zone – Go to BeReadyEscambia.com to find out which evacuation zone you are in. Sign up for alerts on BeReadyEscambia.com.
- Know Your Home – Is it newly built – possibly rated for a hurricane? Your safest place may be at home rather than a shelter due to COVID-19.
- Know Your Plan – plan ahead to stay with loved ones, friends or stay at a hotel away from the area, especially if your home was damaged from Hurricane Sally or you live along coastal areas.
Follow these tips to stay safe during severe weather:
- Pay extra attention to local weather reports until the storm has moved through the area. Be sure to keep your weather radio on and your cell phone charged to ensure you can receive weather alerts.
- With the possibility of high winds, it is recommended that any lightweight outside furniture or equipment be secured.
- Organizations with planned outside activities during this Enhanced Risk period need to be weather aware and take the appropriate actions.
- In the event of a Tornado Warning, move to an interior room on the lowest floor of your home or building. Stay away from windows.
- Turn around, don't drown: In the event of a roadway covered by water, do not attempt to drive over the flooded road. Water depth may be misleading, and you could end up stranded or trapped.
Tips to maintain COVID-19 best practices while sheltering during severe weather:
Stay informed with these additional local resources:
For the latest information on severe weather impacting Escambia County, residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts on myescambia.com
, like Escambia County Emergency Management
on Facebook and follow @BeReadyEscambia