Published On: Sun, Sep 1st, 2019

Hurricane Dorian Continues its March to South Florida After Inflicting Catastrophic Damages to the Bahamas

By: Robert S Weinroth

As of 11PM, Dorian continues as a Category 5 hurricane after inflicting catastrophic damage to the Bahamas.

Palm Beach International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will close Monday as Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida while the state has suspended tolls on major highways in advance of the storm, under orders from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Tolls have been suspended on Florida’s Turnpike, Alligator Alley, the Sawgrass Expressway, the SR 528 Beachline Expressway, SR 417 and SR 429.

On Sunday, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for the coastal areas of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Brevard counties. St. Johns County is expected to issue an evacuation order Monday.

Governor DeSantis has directed state transportation officials to monitor traffic flow to determine the necessity of opening the shoulders along major highways. If that happens, the Florida Highway Patrol will assist in the direction of traffic.

Florida’s 511 Traveler Information System is one of the most effective ways drivers can keep informed about the state’s roadways during severe weather.

Traffic on the state’s highways has been relatively trouble free. State troopers responded to six minor accidents Sunday from Broward all the way to Indian River County.

People who want to ride out the storm away from home should consider traveling to a secure location close by rather than hundreds of miles away.

The Interstate 595 Express Lanes will operate in the westbound direction until Hurricane Dorian has passed. Eastbound traffic will continue to use the general-purpose eastbound lanes.

Tonite at 5PM, Palm Beach County opened two additional general population shelters in addition to the seven general population shelters, special needs shelter and the pet-friendly shelter. The newest shelters are:

  • Forest Hill High School 6901 Parker Ave West Palm Beach, FL 33405; and
  • Atlantic High School 2455 W Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33445

This is in addition to the seven general population shelters, a pet-friendly shelter and special needs shelter.

No weapon are permitted at the shelters.

Fire rescue will cease operations if and when the winds exceed 45 MPH.

The Palm Beach County Emergency Information Center number is 561.712.6400.

PBC has a mandatory evacuation ordered for Zones A & B.

Zone A includes mobile homes, sub-standard housing and low-lying areas prone to water intrusion.

Zone B generally includes the barrier islands, land areas north and south of the Jupiter Inlet, and other surge-vulnerable areas south along the Intracoastal Waterway to the Broward County line.

If you choose to not evacuate to a shelter, please evacuate miles not hundreds of miles.

Most of Palm Beach County is not being evacuated and residents should shelter within the county if possible. With the unpredictable nature of Hurricane Dorian, evacuating north is not recommended.

To determine if your home is in a storm surge evacuation zone, go to readyPBC.com or download our free app “PBC DART.” If you are not in an evacuation zone, please shelter in place.

Palm Beach County opened a special needs shelter at the South Florida Fairgrounds and a pet-friendly shelter at West Boynton Recreation

The Pet Friendly Shelter is located inside the West Boynton Recreational Center at 6000 Northtree Blvd., Lake Worth, FL 33463 and is only available to Palm Beach County residents who reside in a mandatory evacuation zone, in a mobile home, or in sub-standard housing. Proof of residency will be required.

All pets must be accompanied by only one owner who will stay inside the Pet Friendly Shelter. All other family members will need to stay at the adjacent human shelter, Park Vista High School. Pets will be housed in a separate area away from where people are sheltered; livestock and reptiles will not be accepted.

Space is limited and all food will be provided, so please limit personal belongings to only those essential items that you will need during your stay.

The nine general population shelters are:

  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School, 1501 Avenue U, Riviera Beach;
  • Independence Middle School, 4001 Greenway Dr., Jupiter
  • Lakeshore Middle School, 425 W Canal St N, Belle Glade;
  • Pahokee Middle School, 850 Larrimore Rd, Pahokee;
  • Palm Beach Gardens High School, 4245 Holly Dr., Palm Beach Gardens;
  • Palm Beach Central High School, 8499 Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington;
  • Park Vista High School, 7900 Jog Rd., Lake Worth;
  • Forest Hill High School 6901 Parker Ave West Palm Beach; and
  • Atlantic High School 2455 W Atlantic Ave Delray Beach

What to bring to the Shelter:

  • Three-day supply of water per person (i.e., three-gallons per person)
  • Prescription medicines and emergency medications; you must be able to take all medications by yourself
  • Special-diet foods (e.g., snacks and juices for those with dietary restrictions or allergies)
  • Basic snacks
  • Bedding materials (e.g., pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, cots, air mattresses, etc.) – cots will not be provided
  • Comfortable clothing (at least two changes)
  • Collapsible/folding beach or camp chair
  • Baby food, formula, bottles, diapers, blankets, & clothes
  • Flashlight, extra batteries
  • Cellphone, with a battery-operated charger
  • Radio with extra batteries and headphones
  • Important documents (e.g., identification, medical records, insurance information, deeds or leases, birth certificates and utility bills showing your home address) – these documents are not required but will be helpful after an emergency
  • Photocopies of valuable documents
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene items (e.g., washcloth and/or towelettes, small towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Quiet games, books, playing cards, favorite toys, or other items for entertainment
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers/cables for any electronic devices you bring with you – functional electric outlets are limited in shelters

People with special needs should register for the Special Needs Program by calling 561-712-6400 or clicking here.

Uber announced it will be offering free round trip rides, up to $20 each way, to and from a state-approved evacuation shelter.

To qualify for the free rides, users should open their app, tap ‘Payment’, scroll down to promotions, tap ‘add promo code’, and enter DORIANRELIEF then tap add. Once you do that, select one of the shelters.

Palm Tran will transport the homeless from John Prince Park, Phil Foster Park, Jim Berry Park and Curry Park at 3pm and 7pm today. They will be transported from the park to the nearest shelter.

Please SHARE this information widely. http://ow.ly/DBIe50vSwVP. #ReadyPBC #Dorian

The available space for each person at a general shelter is 20 square feet. That’s 4 feet by 5 feet of floor space. Please bring snacks with you to the shelter, only dinner will be served Sunday evening. Palm Tran serves many shelter locations. Additionally, all Palm Tran services will be free on Sunday. The Sheriff’s Office assures they will not be checking the immigration status of any person coming to a shelter.

For continuing information on Hurricane Dorian, and for more information on the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management and hurricane preparedness, please visit: www.pbcgov.com/dem, follow us on Twitter @PBCDEM and watch PBC-TV Channel 20.

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. As a newly elected County Commissioner, Weinroth has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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