PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas County continues to monitor the development of Tropical Storm Colin in the Gulf of Mexico, in coordination with partner agencies, including the National Weather Service. Conditions expected from this event based on the current forecast include heavy rain, potential flooding, possible waterspouts and tornadoes.
As residents and businesses brace for anticipated heavy rain and potentially high winds, the county is advising residents and businesses, especially those in flood prone areas, to take the following steps:
- Gather essential supplies for several days, including water, food and prescription medications for all members of a household, including pets. A survival kit list is available in the 2016 All Hazards Guide on pages 2 and 3
- Have a weather alert radio or a mobile app that will alert you of severe weather, such as tornadoes. Make sure the app will emit a loud tone to wake you if severe weather occurs overnight.
- Know your flood zone, which can be found online at www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/maps.htm.
- Locate a higher ground location to move vehicles to if neighborhood streets, driveways and business parking lots begin to flood.
- Plan where family members, pets and/or co-workers and employees will go if flood waters rise and sheltering at home or in a place of business becomes impossible; consider options for temporary shelter with friends, relatives or neighboring businesses in areas not prone to flooding.
- Plan to limit road travel on Monday, June 6, if possible. Road conditions and visibility may be poor due to severe weather.
- Sign up for free emergency alerts through Alert Pinellas, by visiting www.pinellascounty.org/alertpinellas.
- Pay close attention to weather forecasts to be aware of changing conditions and recommended actions.
- Review additional tips and planning tools in the 2016 All Hazards Guide, available in English and Spanish at http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.
As part of the county’s preparedness efforts, the Emergency Operations Center will be partially activated on Monday, June 6, no later than 10 a.m. This will allow county and partner agencies to be in place and ready to respond to developing situations.
Pinellas County will continue to offer sandbags to county residents Sunday, until sunset, at the following county parks:
- John Chesnut Park, 2200 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor.
- John Taylor Park, 1100 8th Ave. S.W., Largo.
- Lealman Community Park, 3890 55th Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
For more informationon sandbags, visit www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/sandbags.htm or call Pinellas County Public Works at (727) 464-8900.
Residents will need to fill and transport their own bags. Pinellas County will provide shovels, sand and bags. There will be a limit of 20 bags per vehicle.
The following should also be kept in mind:
Types of flood advisories:
- Flood Advisory: Be Aware – Weather conditions may become a nuisance, but flooding is not expected.
- Flood Watch: Be Prepared – Conditions are favorable for flooding, but this does not mean flooding will occur.
- Flood Warning: Take Action – Flooding is imminent or occurring.
- Flash Flood Warning: Take Action – A flash flood is imminent or occurring.
- If you are in a flood prone area, move immediately to high ground.
Flood safety tips:
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! It only takes 6 inches of moving water to sweep you off your feet or 12 inches to float a small car.
- For more flood preparation tips, visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/flooding.
- Residents can also monitor local water levels on the United States Geological Survey’s National Water Information System web interface at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis.
Pinellas County will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency. Residents can look up evacuation zones with the Pinellas County “Doing Things for You” app. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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