Here Are Key Points From Escambia County Hurricane Sally Press Conference; Info On Power, Water, Gas

September 18, 2020

Here are key takeaway points from an Escambia County press conference Friday morning on Hurricane Sally. Information is included on power restoration, ECUA, gas and other important items.

  • Urban search and rescue teams are out in flooded neighborhoods.
  • Rescue operations continue with door to door searches.
  • EMS responded has responded to wrecks at three intersections without working traffic lights.
  • Don’t be on the roads unless absolutely necessary. Treat non-working traffic lights as 4-way stops.
  • Still a lot of downed trees and power lines on the roadways. Downed power lines could be live at anytime, stay away.
  • Do not call 911 unless it is a life threatening emergency.
  • ECUA — water conservation is important because of the sewage situation. About 250 lift stations without power.
  • ECUA customers service phone lines are down due to Cox outage.
  • Pensacola Beach now has water service.
  • ECUA will pick up Thursday and Friday trash routes on Saturday. No recyclables.
  • All ECUA customers remain on a boil water notice.
  • Less than 300 people in shelters.
  • Escambia County working with federal and state authorities.
  • Still problems with communications, especially wireless voice and data.
  • Sheriff Morgan: We are not the gas pump police. You have to get in line and not cut in front of people at gas pumps. Common sense, he said.
  • Pensacola Chamber – no problem with fuel supply to the area; the problem is electric power to gas stations.
  • Stay away from Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key, unless you are getting food or gas stay at home. You are holding up progress, Morgan said.
  • Two axle vehicles can cross the Bob Sikes Bridge.
  • Discard food that has not been kept below 40 degrees or that has contacted flood waters – health department
  • Keep generators outside at least 20 feet away from open doors and window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Pensacola Energy is up and running. Call 811 if you smell natural gas.
  • Pensacola airport may possibly open Friday afternoon. Not yet confirmed.
  • 82 roads in the City of Pensacola are blocked by down trees. Many roads in the county also blocked.
  • Use only Florida licensed contracts. Check companies out at myfloridalicense.com or call (850) 595-3590.

All Hands On Deck” DeSantis Prioritizes Power Restoration After Hurricane Sally

September 18, 2020

During a visit to Escambia County Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said power restoration and reconstruction were the next priorities after of Hurricane Sally.

“We have all hands on deck,” DeSantis said. “We want to make sure to continue to keep people safe, rescue if needed, get that power back on.”

“Power is a major, major initiative and priority at this point,” he said.

DeSantis said clearing debris is a problem, and he’s instructed the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol to “do whatever you need to do” to make sure utility trucks can get to damaged areas.

And he also asked residents to stay off the roads until travel is absolutely necessary.

“If you’re somebody that is just kinda going out to drive to drive, now may not be the best time to do that,” DeSantis said. “It’s really slowing down being able to get all the utility trucks where they need to be.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) has deployed hundreds of generators, water pumps and light towers to help relieve the area of outages and flooding. The generators, among other purposes, will be used to service key structures and traffic lights. The light towers will allow utility crews to continue restoration efforts overnight.

The DEM has also supplied the region with 972,000 water bottles, 279,000 meals, and several mobile feeding kitchens.

DeSantis was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault, Congressman Matt Gaetz and numerous local officials.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Escambia Reporting $21 Million In Hurricane Damage To County Assets

September 18, 2020

Escambia County is preliminarily reporting $21 million in damage to county infrastructure assets from Hurricane Sally.

The damages include roads, bridges and buildings owned by the county.

There is still no electricity or water at most county facilities. As a result county offices will be closed to public again on Friday.

Boil Water Notice Continues For All ECUA Customers

September 17, 2020

ECUA is advising all customers to boil their water.

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority has issued a system wide precautionary boil water notice (PBWN) for water system customers due to the significant and widespread damages sustained from Hurricane Sally.

Residents are advised to boil water for one minute at a rolling boil or to use 8 drops of regular unscented household bleach per gallon of water, for water to be used for drinking or cooking purposes.

ECUA crews are out in the field working to locate, isolate, and repair main breaks in order to restore service as quickly as possible. Although the majority ECUA customers remain in service, there are too many main breaks that require a PBWN for it to be practical to issue separate notices during this initial emergency response, the utility said.

Once the number of pending repairs is significantly reduced, the ECUA will revert to issuing separate notices for individual areas.ECUA said theyare asking for customers’ patience and understanding as they work to repair hundreds of water main breaks, giving priority to hospitals, dialysis centers, and other critical care facilities.

Health Advisory Issued For Water Bodies Including Rivers, Creeks, Gulf

September 16, 2020

    Due to excessive flood and sewage overflows caused by the significant rainfall from Hurricane Sally, the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County has issued a health advisory for all inland and coastal waters including local rivers, streams, bayous, bays and the Gulf of Mexico.

    DOH-Escambia advises against engaging in any water-related activities due to the potential for high bacteria levels.

    The health department will continue to monitor the water quality in these areas and update the public.