Hurricane Sandy may skirt South Florida, but the potential for damaging winds and rip currents may still be a dangerous threat. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the southeast coast of Florida due to the likelihood of sustained tropical storm force winds. Hurricane Sandy could bring wind gusts of more than 50 mph from Thursday, October 25, through the evening of Friday, October 26.
“I encourage all residents to monitor Hurricane Sandy, since we may experience heavy rains and winds. As Tropical Storm Isaac reminded us in August, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of severe weather. Hurricane season runs through December, so now is the time to review storm preparation plans and restock hurricane supplies,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
The Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management encourages all residents and visitors to be aware of the following over the next couple of days:
- Keep both hands on the wheel and reduce your speed.
- Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
- Be extra cautious in a high profile vehicle such as a truck, van, SUV, or when towing a trailer. These types of vehicles are more prone to be pushed or flipped by high wind gusts.
Going to the Beach
- The best survival tip is prevention. Avoid swimming in beaches when rip current advisories are in effect. On all Florida beaches, double red flags means no swimming, a red flag warns of strong current and surf conditions, while a yellow flag indicates moderate conditions. A green flag means the surf is calm.
- Swim only at guarded beaches during lifeguard duty hours, and ask them about surf conditions before entering the water.
- Never swim alone; the buddy system works! Keep an extra careful watch on children and elderly swimmers.
- If you do get caught in a rip current, remain calm and don’t try to swim against the current. Instead, swim out of the current in a perpendicular direction, following the shoreline. Once you are out of the current, swim back to shore.
- Take cover next to a building or under a secured sheltered structure.
- Try to stay clear of roadways. A strong wind gust may blow you into the path of an incoming car.
- Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs and loose street signs can become a projectile during strong wind gusts. Be cautious when near balconies for any loose objects that may fall.
Along with strong wind gusts, Miami-Dade County may also experience beach erosion and some minor coastal flooding particularly during high tides.
“We must always be prepared for a storm, even this late in the season,” said Board of County Commissioners Chairman Joe A. Martinez. “Hurricane Wilma was a reminder of that. I urge residents and visitors to monitor local news outlets for further information on Hurricane Sandy.”
Transit patrons are asked to use safety precautions when utilizing services.
For more information, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.