KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – Monroe County officials are urging visitors and tourists to leave the Keys if they have the means to safely to do. The recommendation comes after the area was put under a Hurricane Warning early Saturday morning.
Squalls were moving through the Keys early Saturday morning and that was expected to continue throughout the day Saturday as conditions begin to deteriorate ahead of Isaac’s arrival.
“If you choose to remain in the Florida Keys during this storm, the only safe place for you to be is inside,” said Irene Toner, emergency management director. “Our goal here is to keep everyone safe.”
If you have questions about what to do in the Florida Keys, call 1-800-955-5504.
Officials have recommended people in the Keys who are camping or staying in boats to find a sturdy shelter to stay in until the storm has passed.
“Don’t venture out, don’t go sight-seeing, chances are you’re going to get hit by a 2×4,” said Toner.
There are three shelters opening Saturday: Key West High School; Stanley Switlik School in Marathon, Coral Shores High School, and Sugarloaf School on Upper Sugarloaf Key.
All of the shelters will be opening at 2 p.m., however the shelters will not have any supplies, so you must bring bedding, food, medicine and other materials you may need.
Key West city workers spent several hours on Friday clearing the streets of debris and checking drains. Since Key West is only a few feet above sea level it’s important work before being drenched by a tropical storms — especially in low lying areas like the island’s south side.
Additionally, the Snake Creek Bridge will be locked int he down position as of 3 p.m. Saturday as well.
Key West International Airport will stop all commercial traffic at 7 p.m. Saturday and all day Sunday. Flights won’t resume until tropical storm force winds subside and it’s judged safe to resume traffic.
Delta Airlines and AirTran have both added extra Key West International departures to accommodate more people wishing to leave the area.
>> Visit the CBS4 Tropics Page for an interactive Tropical Tracker, the newest computer model tracks and more.
>> Here’s how to use the CBS4 site to prepare for and monitor Isaac: