Keys Officials: Closely Monitor Irene;But No Protective Actions at This Time
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Monroe County Emergency Management has no plans for immediate protective actions related to Hurricane Irene, officials said following a Monday conference call with municipal, state and federal agencies.
If the current forecast track holds true, according to Jon Rizzo, warning coordinator for the Key West National Weather Service Office, no significant impacts are anticipated for the Keys
Rizzo said that tropical storm force winds are possible in the Florida Straits off the Upper Keys Wednesday night through Thursday evening and that there was a 40 to 50 percent chance for tropical storm force winds in the Middle and Upper Keys Thursday.
Boaters in the Keys should remain in port beginning Wednesday afternoon. Rizzo said, adding that seas in the Gulf Stream, well off the Upper Keys could be as high as 14 feet Wednesday evening and Thursday.
Most of Florida, including the Keys, is in the National Hurricane Center’s four- and five-day tropical cyclone forecast track-error cone which traditionally accounts for a large margin of error. Because of that Monroe Emergency Management Director Irene Toner counseled Keys residents and visitors not to be complacent and urged continued monitoring of the storm and be prepared to take action in the event of a change in forecast track.