‘We’re not out of the woods’: Hillsborough EOC director warns about Dorian

Tracking the Tropics

EOC manager warns of the unpredictability of such storms

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – While Floridians on the west coast are breathing a sigh of relief that we are out of Hurricane Dorian’s “cone of uncertainty,” Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center Director Tim Dudley said during a briefing Sunday that he will have none of it.

“I know it looks beautiful out there right now, but again we want you to know we are not out of the woods at this time. We’re waiting for that northern turn and this is a Category 5 hurricane that has been extremely unpredictable,” said Dudley.

Unpredictability is one reason Hillsborough County schools will remain closed on Tuesday.

“There are parts of Hillsborough County that are less than 90 miles from the Atlantic Ocean,” Hillsborough County’s school district spokesman Grayson Kamm stated. “You look at Irma taking an unexpected turn, you look at Charlie making an unexpected turn, we have to be ready for that here in Hillsborough County.”

There are also concerns about wind gusts.

“That would be too strong and make it dangerous to operate our buses. Then you have a situation where you have students – more than 80,000 students – who we transport in our buses who wouldn’t be able to safely get home,” Kamm added.

“Since the schools are closed on Tuesday, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County will provide recreation services for students and parents in need, for children ages 5 to 14,” Rick Valdez, Hillsborough County’s director of Parks and Recreation said.

Hillsborough County offering free childcare Tuesday due to school closures

While no shelters are open in Hillsborough, nor is the county calling for any evacuations at this time, Dudley has a warning from the EOC.

“What we are doing is making sure that you do understand that we are not out of the woods yet,” Dudley explained. “This is an unpredictable Category 5 hurricane that’s moving very slowly out there.”


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