Storm watch: Mandatory evacuation in effect for Fort Myers Beach
Gov. Rick Scott announced Sunday that he would cancel his Tuesday activities related to the Republican National Convention in order to monitor and respond to issues related to Tropical Storm Isaac.
Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to continue to impact Southwest Florida today before continuing into the Gulf of Mexico. Florida’s residents, businesses and visitors should actively monitor the storm and finalize emergency preparations. Heed all instructions from local officials and contact your local emergency management agency for details about your area.
CURRENT SITUATION: 1 p.m. Sunday
Florida’s State Emergency Operations Center has activated to a Level 1 in response to Tropical Storm Isaac.
The Lee County Emergency Management Center is at full alert. There are mandatory evacuations in effect for Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach, Big and Little Hickory Island, San Carlos Island, Black Island, and Lovers Key Lee County shelters are open and government offices and schools in Lee County have announced they will be closed Monday.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, Tropical Storm Isaac was approximately 80 miles southeast of Key West, Florida. Isaac is moving to the west-northwest around 18 mph. The official forecast takes Tropical Storm Isaac near or over the lower Florida Keys today and tonight and into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph.
Isaac is expected to be at or near hurricane strength within the next few hours as it reaches the Florida Keys. Isaac remains a large storm, and tropical storm force winds now extend as far as 205 miles from the center. Tropical storm force winds are already impacting the Keys and South Florida with hurricane conditions possibly arriving this afternoon. Tropical storm winds will arrive further north in West Central Florida this evening through the overnight hours into Monday. Heavy rainfall of 4-8 inches is possible over much of southern and Central Florida today. Storm tide heights may reach 1-3 feet in Southeast Florida and the Florida Keys, 4-6 feet along the southwest coast of Florida and 3-5 feet along West Central Florida. Additionally, there is a threat for severe weather including isolated tornadoes over much of Central and South Florida.
Hurricane Warnings The entire Florida Keys; Florida West Coast from Bonita Beach southward; Florida Bay
Hurricane Watches Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Indian Pass, Florida
Tropical Storm Warnings East Coast from Sebastian Inlet to Ocean Reef; Lake Okeechobee; West Coast from north of Bonita Bay to Indian Pass, including Tampa Bay
Tropical Storm Watches East Coast from Sebastian Inlet north to Flagler Beach
Source: Florida Division of Emergency Management