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Hurricane Zeta 5:30 p.m. Update for Wednesday, Oct. 28

Published Oct 28, 2020
Current Situation
  • On Tuesday, Oct. 27, Escambia County issued resolution R2020-152, declaring a local state of emergency.
  • Escambia County Emergency Operation Center has been activated at a level 2 due to COVID-19 and will be activated for Hurricane Zeta beginning Wednesday, Oct. 28.
  • Public works crews are implementing their storm preparation protocol which includes fueling of equipment, stocking vehicles, placing employees on standby for after-hours road clearing, removing trash cans and lifeguard towers from Pensacola Beach and checking drainage systems.
  • Escambia County plans to be open and operating in normal capacity on Thursday, Oct. 29.
  • The Perdido Landfill will run a normal schedule on Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"The Escambia County Emergency Operations Center is continuing to closely monitor Zeta's path and local radar," said Emergency Manager Eric Gilmore. "We are most concerned with high winds and tornadoes for our area. Seeking shelter is the most important thing you can do tonight. If there is a tornado warning in your area, move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris."

Weather Update from National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center

  • Zeta is forecast to make landfall along the southeast Louisiana coast this afternoon/evening and quickly move across our region tonight.
  • Zeta will most likely move into south MS as a hurricane and still be a strong tropical storm as it moves into our area.
  • Threat of storm surge 2-4 ft. with a high risk of rip currents and 10-15 ft. surf in our area.
  • Potential impacts include damaging winds, dangerous surf, rainfall of 2-3 inches and tornadoes
  • Potential for downed trees and powerlines
  • Scattered power outages are likely
  • Summary of Watches/Warnings/Advisories In Effect: 
    • Tropical Storm Warning – Entire area
    • Storm Surge Warning – Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, and Santa Rosa Counties
    • Coastal Flood Advisory – Okaloosa County
    • High Rip Current and High Surf Warning – Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties
    • Flash Flood Watch – Along and west of I-65 

Safety Tips 

  • As a reminder, 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.
  • High winds from Hurricane Zeta may cause power outages in parts of Escambia County. If you use a generator, be sure to follow proper operation rules to keep you and your family safe. Learn more about general safety and usage guidelines for generators at
  • Tornado Tips: Take Cover. Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.
  • With possible flooding forecast for our area, please do not drive into hazardous flood water and remember to Turn Around Don't Drown®. Follow these flood safety tips:
    • Get to higher ground – Get out of areas subject to flooding. 
    • Do not drive into water – Do not drive or walk into flooded areas. It only takes 6" of water to knock you off your feet and 2 feet of water to carry away a vehicle. 
    • Stay informed – Monitor local radar, television, weather radio, internet or social media for updates. 

Sand is still 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. 

Storm Preparation Actions You Can Take Now 

  • Review/make your family plan. Need help? Read more on how to care for your family here.  
  • Know your zone. Look up your address online here. You can search by address or parcel number and then look for the “Emergency Management Report.” The address function is self-populating, so type slowly and then choose the address from the drop down list. 
  • Restock your disaster kit supplies/get a kit. Your disaster kit should have at least three days of nonperishable food and three gallons of water for each person and pet in your home, along with other supplies. Click here to see our latest disaster kit shopping list. 
  • Prep your yard.  As we are entering the height of hurricane season, it is also recommended that residents take a few minutes to inspect their home and yard. Check for, fix or remove loose items on your home and sheds. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and down spouts. Trim trees and shrubs around your home.  
  • Stay informed. Things can change quickly. Be sure you take time every day to monitor the local media. Escambia County also has several tools available for our residents. Learn more here. Monitor local media and legitimate online and social media sources like Escambia County Emergency Management, US National Weather Service Mobile, and NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

Traffic Conditions 

  • Check for Escambia County road closures 24/7 at
  • In Escambia County, we work with law enforcement to close bridges for safety at sustained (not gusts) wind speeds of 39 miles per hour or greater.


Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart 

  • Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart plans to continue its regular schedule for Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29, for drive-thru COVID-19 testing at its locations in Pensacola and Santa Rosa County.

City of Pensacola

  • City of Pensacola residents are asked not to place additional debris curbside until after Tropical Storm Zeta moves through the Gulf Coast and is no longer a threat to the Pensacola area. Sanitation customers should also secure their garbage and recycling cans and not place them curbside until after the storm has passed.
  • City of Pensacola Sanitation Services is suspending service for the remainder of the day today, Wednesday, Oct. 28, due to inclement weather from Hurricane Zeta.
  • Sanitation crews will be unable to complete Wednesday garbage and recycling collection routes today. Wednesday customers whose cans have not been picked up are asked to secure their cans and place them at the curb for pickup tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 29, after the storm has passed.
  • The public's patience is appreciated as the City of Pensacola works to complete as much of the Wednesday route as possible while ensuring the safety of Sanitation employees.
  • The following City of Pensacola offices and facilities will be closed to the public at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 28 due to Tropical Storm Zeta:

    • City of Pensacola administrative offices
    • City Hall

Community Health Northwest Florida

  • Due to expected inclement weather associated with Hurricane Zeta, for the protection of patients and staff, please note the following changes to Community Health Northwest Florida's health center operations for Wednesday, Oct. 28: 
    • The regular Covid-19 mobile testing at Brownsville Community Center and Cantonment Pediatrics will be suspended.
    • All care sites including extended hours walk-in care sites, Adult Walk-in Care (W. Jordan St.) and Pediatric Convenient Care (N. 9th Ave.), will be closing at 4 p.m. 
    • On Thursday, Oct. 29, operations for the regular Covid-19 mobile testing at Brownsville Community Center and Cantonment Pediatrics will be delayed by one hour. Weather and wind permitting, both test sites will open at 10 a.m.

Debris Collection

  • With the approach of Zeta, the county is focusing on debris management collections. As of Tuesday, Oct. 27, Escambia County has collected approximately 2,710,891 cubic yards of debris throughout the county.
  • Debris collection activities will temporarily suspend service at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 to allow for a safe trick or treating experience. 


  • ECAT (Escambia County Area Transit) will suspend all bus and UWF trolley service beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28. ECAT will resume service when it is safe to do so. Riders may call 850-595-3228 or visit for additional information. 
  • Escambia County Community Transportation (ECCT) will run regular service on Wednesday, Oct. 28 until 3 p.m. Any service after 3 p.m. will be for life-sustaining or emergency services. Please call ECCT at 850-595-0501 for additional information.
  • On Thursday, Oct. 29, ECAT will run modified service Thursday, Oct. 29, except for Route 60 and 61A/B. Those routes will be delayed and begin at 8 a.m., due to potential debris removal.
  • UWF Trolleys will begin service at 9 a.m.
  • All administrative staff shall report to work their normal work hours.
  • ECCT paratransit will run regular hours Thursday, Oct. 29.
  • The Transit Development Plan (TDP) survey that was scheduled to launch Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 will be rescheduled.

Escambia County School District

  • All Escambia County schools will dismiss an hour early, and after school activities have been canceled for Wednesday, Oct. 28. Updates and announcements regarding attendance on Thursday, Oct. 29, will be provided on Wednesday, Oct. 28, and communicated via local media, through School Messenger calls, as well as on the school district website. 
  • All schools and district offices will be closed on Thursday, Oct. 29 in an abundance of caution due to the threat posed by Hurricane Zeta. This closure provides time for assessment of power outages, roadway accessibility, and district facility damages. Normal operations are expected to resume on Friday, Oct. 30.

Escambia County Supervisor of Elections

  • Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David H. Stafford has announced that the Early Voting hours for Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 have changed due to the anticipated impact of Hurricane Zeta to our area. On Wednesday, Oct. 28 all 10 early voting locations will close at 3 p.m. and will reopen at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Escambia County Tax Collector

  • The Escambia County Tax Collector’s office closed at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28 due to the potential of severe weather from Hurricane Zeta.
  • They will reopen at 10 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 29. Please check the website for the most current information.
  • Citizens are encouraged to visit the virtual office at to conduct most tax collector business 24 hours a day. Express Lane service allows customers to renew their registration online for their vehicle, boat or mobile home and pick it up when we reopen.
  • For more information, please visit us at, email or contact our call center.

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority

  • Effective immediately, a Precautionary Boil Water Notice -PBWN- has been issued by the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority to customers located in the following area:

    • Danamar Dr., between Spanish Trail and Capri Dr.

    • Futura Dr.

    • Capri Dr., between Leesway Blvd. and Danamar Dr. 

  • All Sanitation collections scheduled for today, Wednesday, October 28, for ECUA customers in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties will be conducted as planned. Collections may be suspended in the afternoon depending on the arrival time of winds. If all routes are not completed today, they will be completed on Thursday as soon as it is safe for collection vehicles to be back out on the road.

  • Where possible, we encourage our customers to secure their cans in an enclosed structure (i.e. garage) or to an outside fixed structure after today's collection is completed. Any unexpected changes to this status will be posted on our website, on our Facebook page, and communicated to local media.

  • All ECUA business offices closed at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in anticipation of Hurricane Zeta and will re-open on Thursday, Oct. 29. Staff members assigned to emergency and essential duties shall continue to report to their normal or emergency assignment locations.

Escambia River Electric Cooperative

  • Should Hurricane Zeta cause damage to the EREC service area, members can view our outage map for up to date information via or the EREC mobile app.
  • EREC’s electric meters are designed to automatically detect and report power outages, but members are asked to notify us of any disruption in their electric service in case the meter signal is obstructed. Here are three options for outage reporting:
    • Call the EREC outage number at 1-877-OUT-EREC or 1-877-688-3732.
    • Login to your account via and click the Outage Tab.
    • Download EREC’s free mobile app through Apple and Android app stores. Login to your account, press the right arrow, and choose Report an Outage from the menu.


  • FEMA Mobile Registration Intake Centers in Escambia closed temporarily at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 as a precautionary measure for Hurricane Zeta. The centers will be closed Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 with the goal to reopen on Friday, Oct. 30.

Feeding The Gulf Coast

First Judicial Circuit Courts

  • First Judicial Circuit courts in Escambia County will close at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, due to anticipated effects from Hurricane Zeta. Courts in Santa Rosa County will close at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
  • First Judicial Circuit courts in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties will have delayed openings on Thursday, Oct. 29 due to the anticipated effects of Hurricane Zeta. Court buildings in Escambia County will open for regular business at 11 a.m. on Thursday.  The Santa Rosa County Courthouse will open for regular business at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Florida Department of Health

  • FDOH-Escambia’s drive-thru testing site is temporarily closed due to inclement weather. Specimen collection is expected to resume normal operations Monday, Nov. 2.
  • As tropical weather impacts our area, it is important to be prepared for storm related health risks. Due to hazards from Hurricane Zeta, the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) emphasizes the importance of Florida’s residents and visitors protecting themselves against illness and injury. Everyone should remain diligent in preventative measures with these tips from FDOH-Escambia

Gulf Islands National Seashore

  • Gulf Islands National Seashore announced that the Okaloosa Area in Florida is closed as of Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m. ahead of the approaching storm. The anticipated intense winds, rough seas, and heavy rain will impact this area and are expected to cause flooding of roads and coastal areas. Current forecasts indicate that the park may be affected by the storm. The Fort Pickens, Highway 399/ J. Earle Bowden Way, and Opal Beach Areas remain closed due to damage from Hurricane Sally. The Perdido Key/ Johnson Beach Area closed on Monday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.

Gulf Power

  • Gulf Power stands ready to respond to any potential power outages as Hurricane Zeta nears the Gulf Coast. Even as weather bands move through later today, lineworkers will respond to power outages and restore power as long as it is safe to do so, which is usually if winds are under 35 mph.
  • A storm restoration workforce of more than 2,300 strong, including approximately 1,000 Gulf Power personnel and contractors and an additional 1,300 lineworkers, tree trimmers and support personnel – the vast majority from sister company Florida Power & Light – are prepositioned to immediately begin the process of restoring power from outages caused by Zeta. If the storm’s impact proves greater than currently anticipated, Gulf Power has additional FPL teams ready to travel to quickly ramp up restoration efforts.

Pensacola Christian Academy

  • Pensacola Christian Academy will dismiss Grades 1-12 classes, after school activities, and ESD one hour early on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Zeta.  
  • Kindergarten will follow regular schedule, but Grades 1-12 will dismiss at 2 p.m. The early dismissal allows for the completion of bus routes prior to the arrival of strong winds, therefore all afternoon bus schedules will be one hour earlier than normal. Sports practices will end at 4 p.m. and Extended School Day will close at 4:30 p.m.  
  • Pensacola Christian Academy classes and Extended School Day will be closed on Thursday, Oct. 29 out of an abundance of caution due to the threat posed by Hurricane Zeta. This closure provides time for assessment of roadway accessibility and damages. Offices will be open 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Regular school schedules are expected to resume on Friday, October 30. Pensacola Christian College classes that begin prior to 9:30 a.m. will not meet on Thursday. Classes will resume at 9:30 a.m. after safety assessments are complete. Should there be any additional changes, they will be communicated on the website as well as:

    • Critical alert messages 
    • PCA Parent portal and app
    • (850) 478-8484 (Academy Information Line)

Pensacola International Airport

  • The last arrival into PNS will be at 4:40 p.m. and the last departure will be at 5:30 p.m. Please check with your airline in regard to specific flights that have been canceled for Wednesday evening and what impacts that will have on Thursday morning flights.

Pensacola State College

  • All Pensacola State College offices, on-campus activities and face-to-face classes will be suspended at 4 p.m. today (Wednesday) due to Hurricane Zeta. 
  • All online classes will proceed as scheduled. In the event that online classes are interrupted by a power outage or students are unable to attend due to some unforeseen event, students should contact their instructors to make up any missed assignments. 
  • All College activities will resume at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. 
  • For more information, email Sheila Nichols, the College’s Executive Director of Marketing, at 

NAS Pensacola 

  • Due to potential inclement weather from Hurricane Zeta, Naval Air Station Pensacola will be in Condition of Readiness (COR) I as of Wednesday, Oct. 28.
  • To limit traffic on the installation and for everyone’s safety, only mission essential personnel will be required to report for duty after 1 p.m. today until further notice.
  • COR I is set when a tropical storm or hurricane is anticipated in the Gulf Coast Region within 12 hours.  No personnel evacuations have been ordered at this time. 

West Florida Public Libraries

  • Libraries will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28 to prepare for Zeta.

U.S. Small Business Administration

  •  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it is temporarily closing the Business Recovery Center located in the East Pensacola Heights Clubhouse in Pensacola. The Center will be closed for SBA disaster assistance at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, and will reopen to resume its regular operations at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5. The facility will be used as a polling place for the election. 

Zeta Situation Overview
Zeta Briefing Wed Oct 28 4p_Page_02

Zeta Briefing Wed Oct 28 4p_Page_03

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Zeta Briefing Wed Oct 28 4p_Page_09

Zeta Briefing Wed Oct 28 4p_Page_10

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