MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told residents Friday that he does not expect to feel major effects from tropical storm Isaac, but urged residents not to let their guard down.

“It doesn’t appear that we’re going to have a strong storm, but we always need to be prepared, so that’s the message to the people of Miami-Dade County,” Gimenez said at an afternoon briefing at the county’s Emergency Management Operations Center in West Miami-Dade.

“We’re looking at a tropical storm, and we’re also looking at a storm that at this point, apparently, hopefully, is going to the South and West of us,” the mayor said.

Still Gimenez stressed that the path of Isaac is not certain and told citizens to stay tuned to the media for updates, and be ready to implement their family’s storm emergency plan.  He said that, with the height of the hurricane center approaching, everyone should already have their necessary hurricane supplies and plans ready.  If not, now is the time, he said.

Emergency Services Management Director Curtis Sommerhoff said the county does not want to ring too loud an alarm, but added that there can be large variations in the forecast track for Isaac.

“We could come in here tomorrow and have a quite different forecast for Miami-Dade and have to move forward in a hurry,” Sommerhoff said.  “We might need to give that kind of news to the public.”

The Emergency Services Center was staffed at its lowest level, level three on Friday.

Depending on how the forecast develops, Gimenez said the center may move to a more vigilant level two on Saturday.


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