Local News for September 8th:

IRMA REMAINS A DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE LOCATED OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS AS OF 5AM THIS MORNING. THE STORM HAS WINDS OF 155MPH AND IS TRACKING TO THE WNW AT 16 MILES PER HOUR.  AT IT’S CURRENT SPEED, THR AFFECTS OF THIS STORM MAY BE FELT IN THIS AREA BT LATE SATURDAY AFTEROON.

THE MODELS ALL SEEM TO AGREE NOW THAT IRMA WILL MAKE LANDFALL NEAR MIAMI AND THEN TRAVEL UP THE MIDDLE OF THE STATE.  WHILE THE STORM HAS WEAKENED SOME, IT REMAINS A DANGEROUS HURRICANE. THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER WILL ISSUE ITS NEXT UPDATE AT 8AM.

LOCALLY, THE OKEECHOBEE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECLARED A LOCAL STATE OF EMERGENCY IN RESPONSE TO IRMA.  ALCOHOL SALES WILL CEASE AT 12:01 AM SATURDAY AND A COUNTY-WIDE CURFEW WILL START SATURDAY NIGHT AT 9PM AND WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

OKEECHOBEE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IS REOMMENDING A VOLUNTARY EVACUATION TO RESIDENTS IN LOW LYING AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING. IF YOU LIVE IN A MOBILE HOME OR FEEL THAT YOUR HOME WILL NOT STAND UP TO HURRICANE FORCE WINDS, IT’S TIME TO LEAVE.

THE COUNTY IS NOT CURRENTLY UNDER A MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDER.  THE OKEECHOBEE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TEAM WILL CONSULT WITH THE ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS THIS MORNING ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE HERBERT HOOVER DIKE.

A RED CROSS GENERAL SHELTER WILL BE ESTABLISHED AT SOUTH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 2468 S.W. 7TH AVENUE AND WILL OPEN AT 2:00PM THIS AFTERNOON.  PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY PRE-REGISTERED SPECIAL NEEDS CLIENTS CAN GO DIRECTLY TO THE SHELTERS THE HAVERT FIENN CENTER, 2000 VIRGINIA AVENUE IN FORT PIERCE. THAT CENTER WILL OPEN AT 9AM TODAY.

IN GLADES COUNTY, SHELTERS WILL OPEN AT 5:30PM TODAY. THE SHELTERS ARE LOCATED AT MAPLE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH, 12777 EAST STATE ROAD 78 NE IN LAKEPORT, WEST GLADES ELEMENTARY 2587 COUNTY ROAD 731 BUILDING 500, MUSE-MOORE HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL GYM, 700 TERRIER PRIDE DRIVE, SOUTHWEST AND THE SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER IS AT THE WEST GLADES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. YOU MUST BE PREREGISTERED FOR THIS FACILITY.

IN ANTICIPATION OF THE HURRICANE, THE SOUTH FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT CONTINUES TO LOWER THE LAKE LEVEL IN ANTICIPATION OF HEAVY RAIN. SFWMD IS ALSO ADJUSTING HOURS FOR NAVIGATION LOCKS ON THE LAKE AND THE KISSIMMEE RIVER AND THEY ARE CLOSING PUBLIC LANDS TO RECREATION.

AND, COUNTY OFFICES IN OKEECHOBEE AND GLADES COUNTIES ARE CLOSED TODAY.