This information is intended for use in an emergency evacuation caused by a major storm. Remain calm - move quickly - follow instructions from your local Emergency Management Office.
Important information and official Emergency Management Bulletins will be made available to the local radio and television stations. Respond to the "official" bulletins.
Evacuees from south Jefferson County should plan to use Cardinal Drive to move North. If an alternate route is not designated in Evacuation Bulletin, use route most familiar to you to reach Cardinal Drive. Leave as early as possible to avoid the heavy traffic on highways.
Do not return until official bulletins declare it advisable to do so.
This does not mean that hurricane conditions are imminent, but there is a real possibility that a hurricane will threaten the area within 24 hours. Recommended action and supplies you should have on hand are:
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours. Take the following action immediately:
Persons in mobile homes and in homes in areas likely to be flooded should move to a safe location. Instructions will be given by Emergency Management Bulletins.
Frequently persons who have weathered or survived a storm, venture outside and are electrocuted by downed power lines.
Hurricanes have four damaging effects: tides, heavy rains, high winds, and tornadoes. Approximately 90% of the damage and injury results from flooding. Persons in homes in locations subject to flooding should seek shelter elsewhere before the storm. There should be no travel during the storm due to the danger of flying debris, falling trees, and power lines.
You wouldn't think of going without fire insurance on your home. There is a higher probability that your home will be struck by a 100 year storm any year than that your home will have a fire. IT'S NOT IF A HURRICANE WILL HIT, BUT WHEN!
In most hurricanes, "storm surge" caused most loss of life and property damage. Storm surge is different than regular tides. Together, regular tides and storm surge form the "hurricane tide".
Storm surge development takes place over deep water, where the drop in barometric pressures in the storm center causes the sea to bulge. A second action develops as hurricane winds sweep across the sea surface. This causes a swirling movement of the surface water which gradually goes down about 300 feet.
The maximum swirl moves to the right of the hurricane's eye (track) where wind speeds are highest. There is no change in sea level due to the swirling motion so long as the water remains deeper than 300 feet.
As the hurricane approaches land, the swirling water mass scrapes bottom, tries to spread in all directions, and begins to pile up. Peak surge heights are seen at the shoreline about the time the hurricane center reaches land.
The maximum water swirl occurs 10-20 miles to the right of the storm track, near the point of maximum wind speeds. Thus, the greatest danger from both winds and surge usually is about 15 miles right of that track.
The surge may lift the ocean 15 feet or more at the coastline. Carla, in 1961, produced a 21 foot surge at Matagorda bay. Camille, which hit Mississippi in 1969, caused a 25 foot surge, the highest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.
Among the storms' worst killers and destroyers of property, tornadoes always pose a threat in the hurricane area. The greatest outbreak of tornadoes on record was associated with Hurricane Beulah when 115 tornadoes were spawned during a five-day period. Sixty-seven of these occurred on one day, setting a national record.
Storm Warnings may be issued when winds of 55-73 miles an hour (48-63 knots) are expected.
A Hurricane Watch is issued for a coastal area when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of 74 miles an hour(64 knots) and/or dangerously high tides and waves. Actions for protection of life and property should begin immediately when the warning is issued.
Flash Flood Watch means a flash flood is possible in the area; stay alert.
Flash Flood Warning means a flash flood is imminent; take immediate action.
Tornadoes spawned by hurricanes sometimes produce severe damage and casualties. If a tornado is reported in your area, a warning will be issued.
Please realize we may not be able to respond to an email question after a Hurricane Warning has been issued.