Keys officials met via teleconference Thursday afternoon to listen to a Tropical Storm Isaacbriefing from the Key West National Weather Service office and to strategize any necessaryresponses.
The current official National Hurricane Center storm track shows the center of Isaac, as a strongtropical storm, over or near the Lower Keys early Monday. However, Jon Rizzo, the warningcoordination meteorologist at the Key West weather office, said Isaac is still more than 1,100 miles away and the track and intensity forecasts are not a certainty this far out.He suggested to officials to begin planning a response to a strong tropical storm or Category 1hurricane.
No general resident evacuations are planned, although officials are considering a visitorevacuation that, if needed, would be initiated Saturday morning. Thus, visitors in the Keys andthose with near-term plans to visit the region should be well aware of Isaac and be prepared toadjust their trip plans, if needed.
A local state of emergency is to be declared at noon Friday to provide the county appropriatemechanisms to implement protective actions.Monroe County offices, courts, the sheriff’s administrative office and public schools are to beclosed Monday. Select-area shelters, including Key West High School, Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon and Coral Shores High School in Islamorada, are to open Sunday morning.
Another teleconference is planned for Friday afternoon to continue decision-making responsesfor Isaac that would likely include a final decision on the potential visitor evacuation.