Hurricane Irma winds force Pinellas County law enforcement, fire crews off roads

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Sideways rain pelted Pinellas County Sunday night. The winds, high enough for Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri to pull his deputies from the roads because they were just too treacherous.

It was the same deal in St. Petersburg, where firefighter and police are not responding to non-emergency calls.

Drivers apparently took warnings to stay off the streets to heart. In the evacuation zone in Indian Rocks Beach, businesses are boarded up and Gulf Boulevard has very little traffic.

We spotted several deputies keeping watch.

About the only activity we saw was at the “9 To 9 market” off Walsingham.

The owner said he wanted his loyal customers to be able to get supplies, even as Irma came through.

“A little bit busy in the morning. But now it’s slowing down because the weather is getting bad. About to close right now” said Jack Patel.

Talk about last minute preps, in this case, it is last second.

“Beef jerky. For him” said Tracy Clark.

Irma knocked out power to 14,400 Duke Energy customers early in the evening.

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