NWS Melbourne: Matthew could make parts of Florida “uninhabitable for weeks or months” 

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The National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida has issued two of the most sternly worded Hurricane Local Statements since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. 

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(The all caps may make this difficult to read; that’s the way it is distributed from the NWS.). These statements are updated at this link: NWS Melbourne.

HURRICANE MATTHEW LOCAL STATEMENT ADVISORY NUMBER 33

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL AL142016

544 AM EDT THU OCT 6 2016

THIS PRODUCT COVERS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA

…DANGEROUS HURRICANE MATTHEW CLOSING IN ON FLORIDA…

…STRONGEST HURRICANE TO AFFECT THIS AREA IN DECADES…

NEW INFORMATION

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* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:

    – NONE

* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:

    – A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR INLAND VOLUSIA COUNTY…ORANGE…SEMINOLE…SOUTHERN BREVARD COUNTY…OSCEOLA…INDIAN RIVER…OKEECHOBEE…ST. LUCIE…MARTIN…COASTAL VOLUSIA COUNTY AND NORTHERN BREVARD COUNTY

    – A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR NORTHERN LAKE

      COUNTY…SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY

* STORM INFORMATION:

    – ABOUT 360 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CAPE CANAVERAL FL OR ABOUT 300

      MILES SOUTHEAST OF FORT PIERCE FL

    – 24.2N 77.1W

    – STORM INTENSITY 125 MPH

    – MOVEMENT NORTHWEST OR 320 DEGREES AT 12 MPH

SITUATION OVERVIEW

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DANGEROUS HURRICANE MATTHEW MOVING NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS, IS FORECAST TO MOVE VERY NEAR OR OVER THE EAST CENTRAL COAST OF FLORIDA TONIGHT AND INTO FRIDAY. 

EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, LIFE-THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MATTHEW CONTAINING THE STRONGEST WIND GUSTS, STORM SURGE AND HEAVY RAIN SQUALLS WILL MOVE ALONG OR OVER PORTIONS OF THE EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA COASTLINE VERY EARLY FRIDAY MORNING AND INTO THE AFTERNOON.

WIDESPREAD EXTENSIVE TO DEVASTATING WIND IMPACTS WILL BE FELT.

AIRBORNE DEBRIS LOFTED BY EXTREME WINDS WILL BE CAPABLE OF BREACHING STRUCTURES, UNPROTECTED WINDOWS AND VEHICLES. EFFECTS SUCH AS THESE RANGING FROM THE COAST TO WELL INLAND HAVE NOT BEEN EXPERIENCED IN CENTRAL FLORIDA IN DECADES.

LOCAL WINDS WILL EXCEED WHAT OCCURRED DURING THE HURRICANES OF 2004. ANY EVACUATIONS AND STRUCTURE PREPARATION SHOULD BE COMPLETED THIS AFTERNOON. TRAVEL WILL BE STRONGLY DISCOURAGED BEGINNING AT DUSK.

EXPECT WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES.

INLAND FROM THE COASTLINE, THE THREAT IS HIGH FOR SUSTAINED HURRICANE FORCE WINDS FOR A PERIOD OF TIME FRIDAY MORNING WITH A HIGH THREAT FOR STRONG TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS FARTHER INLAND OVER LAKE COUNTY.  WITH AN EXPECTED TRACK CLOSE TO THE COASTLINE, THE POTENTIAL FOR LIFE THREATENING STORM SURGE FLOODING IS HIGH. 

STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 5 TO 7 FEET IS EXPECTED ALONG THE BARRIER ISLANDS OF VOLUSIA AND BREVARD COUNTIES, WITH 3 TO 5 FEET OF INUNDATION EXPECTED OVER MARTIN AND SAINT LUCIE COUNTY BARRIER ISLANDS.

LARGE BREAKING WAVES ALONG BEACHES WILL PEAK BETWEEN 12 TO 18 FEET AND PRODUCE ROUGH, POUNDING SURF RESULTING IN A SIGNIFICANT HAZARD OF COASTAL FLOODING FROM DUNE BREACHING, ALONG WITH VERY SEVERE BEACH SCOURING AND SAND DUNE EROSION. COASTAL FLOODING WILL BE AGGRAVATED BY HIGH TIDE ESPECIALLY IN VOLUSIA COUNTY.  

SIGNIFICANT DOWNWIND PILING AND SURGING OF WATER WILL OCCUR WITHIN THE INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY, LAGOONS, AND INLETS. THE CLOSE APPROACH OF MATTHEW`S EYE TO THE EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA COAST MEANS PROPERTIES FACING EAST AND WEST ALONG THE INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO WIND DRIVEN PILING OF WATER. ADDITIONALLY, WIND DRIVEN PILING OF WATER WILL BE POSSIBLE ALONG THE BANKS OF THE SAINT JOHNS RIVER IN LAKE AND VOLUSIA COUNTIES.

HEAVY RAIN, ESPECIALLY IN SQUALLS, WILL INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND FREQUENCY ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY. WIDESPREAD RAINFALL TOTALS OF 5 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS, ESPECIALLY ALONG THE COAST. SATURATED SOILS IN MANY AREAS FROM HEAVY SEPTEMBER AND EARLY OCTOBER RAINFALL WILL HOLD VERY LITTLE ADDITIONAL WATER BEFORE WATER QUICKLY BEGINS TO POND, ESPECIALLY IN LOW LYING AND URBAN AREAS. STANDING WATER WILL BE CAPABLE OF QUICKLY RISING, ESPECIALLY IN FLOOD PRONE AREAS, AND COULD ENTER HOMES AND BUSINESSES DURING MATTHEW`S PASSAGE.

RESIDENTS AND VISITORS TO EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO MONITOR THE LATEST TRACK AND INTENSITY FORECASTS FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER. TAKE ACTIONS TO ENSURE YOUR READINESS PLANS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

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* WIND:

PROTECT AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING WIND HAVING POSSIBLE DEVASTATING IMPACTS ACROSS ALL OF EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. POTENTIAL IMPACTS IN

THIS AREA INCLUDE:

    – STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO STURDY BUILDINGS, SOME WITH COMPLETE ROOF AND WALL FAILURES. COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF MOBILE HOMES. DAMAGE GREATLY ACCENTUATED BY LARGE AIRBORNE PROJECTILES. LOCATIONS MAY BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS.

    – NUMEROUS LARGE TREES SNAPPED OR UPROOTED ALONG WITH FENCES AND ROADWAY SIGNS BLOWN OVER.

    – MANY ROADS IMPASSABLE FROM LARGE DEBRIS, AND MORE WITHIN URBAN OR HEAVILY WOODED PLACES. MANY BRIDGES, CAUSEWAYS, AND ACCESS ROUTES IMPASSABLE.

    – WIDESPREAD POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS OUTAGES.  ALSO, PROTECT AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING WIND HAVING POSSIBLE EXTENSIVE IMPACTS ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

* SURGE:

PROTECT AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING SURGE HAVING POSSIBLE EXTENSIVE IMPACTS ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. POTENTIAL IMPACTS IN THIS AREA INCLUDE:

    – LARGE AREAS OF DEEP INUNDATION WITH STORM SURGE FLOODING ACCENTUATED BY BATTERING WAVES. STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS, WITH SEVERAL WASHING AWAY. DAMAGE COMPOUNDED BY FLOATING DEBRIS. LOCATIONS MAY BE UNINHABITABLE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD.

    – LARGE SECTIONS OF NEAR-SHORE ESCAPE ROUTES AND SECONDARY ROADS MAY BE WASHED OUT OR SEVERELY FLOODED. FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEMS AND BARRIERS MAY BECOME STRESSED.

    – SEVERE BEACH EROSION WITH SIGNIFICANT DUNE LOSS.

    – MAJOR DAMAGE TO MARINAS, DOCKS, BOARDWALKS, PIERS, AND OTHER COASTAL STRUCTURES. MANY SMALL CRAFT BROKEN AWAY FROM MOORINGS, ESPECIALLY IN UNPROTECTED ANCHORAGES WITH SOME LIFTED ONSHORE AND STRANDED.

ALSO, PROTECT AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING SURGE HAVING POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS ACROSS THE COAST OF EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

* FLOODING RAIN:

PROTECT AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING RAINFALL FLOODING HAVING POSSIBLE EXTENSIVE IMPACTS ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. POTENTIAL

IMPACTS INCLUDE:

    – MAJOR RAINFALL FLOODING MAY PROMPT MANY EVACUATIONS AND RESCUES.

    – RIVERS AND TRIBUTARIES MAY RAPIDLY OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS IN MULTIPLE PLACES. SMALL STREAMS, CREEKS, CANALS, AND DITCHES MAY BECOME DANGEROUS RIVERS. FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEMS AND BARRIERS MAY BECOME STRESSED.

    – FLOOD WATERS CAN ENTER MANY STRUCTURES WITHIN MULTIPLE COMMUNITIES, SOME STRUCTURES BECOMING UNINHABITABLE OR WASHED AWAY. MANY PLACES WHERE FLOOD WATERS MAY COVER ESCAPE ROUTES.

      STREETS AND PARKING LOTS BECOME RIVERS OF MOVING WATER WITH UNDERPASSES SUBMERGED. DRIVING CONDITIONS BECOME DANGEROUS.  MANY ROAD AND BRIDGE CLOSURES WITH SOME WEAKENED OR WASHED OUT.

* TORNADOES:

PROTECT AGAINST A DANGEROUS TORNADO EVENT HAVING POSSIBLE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS ACROSS EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. POTENTIAL IMPACTS INCLUDE:

    – THE OCCURRENCE OF ISOLATED TORNADOES CAN HINDER THE EXECUTION OF EMERGENCY PLANS DURING TROPICAL EVENTS.

    – SEVERAL PLACES MAY EXPERIENCE TORNADO DAMAGE WITH A FEW LOCATIONS SEEING CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE, POWER LOSS, AND      COMMUNICATIONS FAILURES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

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* EVACUATIONS:

FOR THOSE UNDER EVACUATION ORDERS, LEAVE AS SOON AS PRACTICAL WITH A DESTINATION IN MIND. GAS UP YOUR VEHICLE WELL AHEAD OF TIME. BE SURE THAT YOU TAKE ALL ESSENTIAL MATERIALS FROM YOUR EMERGENCY SUPPLIES KIT. LET OTHERS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND WHEN YOU INTEND TO ARRIVE.

* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:

NOW IS THE TIME TO COMPLETE ALL PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR EMERGENCY PLAN. OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE WRAPPED UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BEFORE WEATHER CONDITIONS DETERIORATE.

FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY SHELTER MAY RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR LOSS OF LIFE. ALWAYS HEED THE ADVICE OF LOCAL OFFICIALS AND COMPLY WITH ANY ORDERS THAT ARE ISSUED. REMEMBER, DURING THE STORM 9 1 1 EMERGENCY SERVICES MAY NOT BE ABLE TO IMMEDIATELY RESPOND IF CONDITIONS ARE UNSAFE. THIS SHOULD BE A BIG FACTOR IN YOUR DECISION MAKING.

IN EMERGENCIES IT IS BEST TO REMAIN CALM. STAY INFORMED AND FOCUSED ON THE SITUATION AT HAND. EXERCISE PATIENCE WITH THOSE YOU ENCOUNTER.

BE A GOOD SAMARITAN AND HELPFUL TO OTHERS.

IF RELOCATING TO A NEARBY SHELTER OR TO THE HOME OF A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND, DRIVE WITH EXTRA CAUTION, ESPECIALLY ON SECONDARY ROADS.

REMEMBER, MANY BRIDGES AND CAUSEWAYS WILL BE CLOSED ONCE HIGHER WINDS ARRIVE. ALSO, IF YOU ENCOUNTER WATER COVERING THE ROAD, SEEK AN ALTERNATE ROUTE. ALWAYS OBEY OFFICIAL ROAD SIGNS FOR CLOSURES AND DETOURS.

NEXT UPDATE

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THE NEXT LOCAL STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE FL AROUND 12 PM, OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.

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