Reporting Tim Kephart
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida as Tropical Storm Isaac continued to close in on South Florida and the Keys.
The executive order is customary as a natural disaster like a hurricane nears. The statewide state of emergency was due to the storm threatening not only South Florida, but also the Florida panhandle next week.
Scott said Saturday morning the state emergency management center is working at Level 1 meaning it will be open 24 hours a day through the storm. Scott also said FEMA already had 245 people in the state working with local officials to coordinate their efforts to deal with Isaac.
The State Emergency Response Team has also activated the Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL), a hotline for residents to obtain accurate, up-to-date information about Isaac. The FEIL will be available from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The toll-free number is 1-800-342-3557. Hearing-impaired persons may call the Florida Telecommunications Relay at 1-800-226-4329 to receive information and access TDD systems.
Scott is also working to make sure the Republican National Convention, scheduled to start next week in Tampa, can go off without a hitch. Scott said the RNC has been working with state and local officials in advance of any problems that might arise from the storm coming near Tampa.
As of Saturday morning, Tampa’s airport remained open, but Scott said convention attendees should stay alert to any possible changes that could come from individual airlines. Scott said the issues the convention may have to deal with include: winds, storm surge, bridges closing, and flooding to name a few.
Here’s how to use the CBS4 site to prepare for and monitor Isaac: