Statement as of 5:39 PM EDT on September 2, 2004
... Outermost rainband approaching Southeast Florida coast tonight...
... Areas affected...
this statement applies to persons in Palm Beach... Broward... Miami-
Dade... Collier... Hendry... Glades and Mainland Monroe counties.
... Watches and warnings...
Hurricane Warning in effect for Southeast Florida coast and Lake
Okeechobee... including Metro Palm Beach... Broward and Miami-Dade.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected in 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
Inland hurricane wind warning in effect for all inland South Florida
counties. An inland hurricane wind warning means that sustained winds or
frequent gusts of hurricane force..74 mph... are expected in 24 hours over inland
Flood Watch in effect for all South Florida counties through Sunday except
coastal Collier and Mainland Monroe. A Flood Watch means that heavy rainfall
may produce flooding in the affected area.
... Storm information...
at 5 PM EDT... the center of Hurricane Frances was located near latitude 24.1
north... longitude 74.8 west. This location is about 390 miles east southeast
of West Palm Beach... or about 380 miles east southeast of Fort Lauderdale...
Miami and Miami Beach. Frances is moving toward the west northwest near 10 mph and a northwest to west northwest motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 24 hours. Frances remains a dangerous category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph with higher gusts. Some fluctuations in intensity are expected over the next 24 hours.
... Precautionary/preparedness actions...
Miami-Dade emergency management has directed an evacuation for residents in evacuation zones a and b... including barrier islands... mobile homes... Key Biscayne... Miami Beach and all low lying areas and coastal areas east of U.S.1. Evacuation centers in Miami-Dade are open.
Palm Beach emergency management has ordered a mandatory evacuation for all
persons in areas a and b... including mobile homes and barrier islands and
the lake side of the Hoover Dike. Palm Beach shelters are open.
Broward County emergency management has ordered a mandatory evacuation for persons living on barrier islands and all mobile homes. Broward shelters are
open but evacuees are urged to stay with friends or relatives.
Glades County emergency management has ordered a mandatory evacuation of people living in mobile homes... especially in the northeast portion of the County. Shelters are open.
Hendry County emergency management will lock down The Fort Denaud bridge once tropical storm force winds reach the area on Friday afternoon or evening. Hendry County shelters are open for voluntary evacuation.
Collier County emergency management has closed schools and will open shelters at 6 PM on Friday.
All schools in South Florida will be closed Friday. Call your local County
emergency management hotline numbers available on commercial television and
radio for detailed information.
... Storm surge flood and storm tide impacts...
maximum storm tides of 7 to 10 feet above mean sea level will occur just north
of where the center crosses the coast. Landfall is possible anywhere in the
Hurricane Warning area... and therefore actual storm surge will depend entirely
upon where the center crosses the coast. The latest official forecast track
places areas in northern Palm Beach County at greatest risk from storm tide...
including Jupiter Inlet... the lower part of the Loxahatchee River... parts of
Tequesta... and Jupiter Inlet Colony.
For Lake Okeechobee... the lake level today is 13.6 feet above mean sea level
which is below normal for this time of year. The water would be pushed up as
much as 8 to 10 feet higher on the lake side of the dike in Glades...
Hendry... and western Palm Beach counties from the mouth of Fisheating
Creek all the way around to Port Mayaca including Moore Haven...
Clewiston... South Bay... Belle Glade and Pahokee. The maximum
storm tide inside Hoover Dike would therefore be about 24 feet above
mean sea level on the west and south sides of the lake and as high as 20 feet
above mean sea level on the east side. The Hoover Dike protects inhabited areas
to at least 30 feet above mean sea level. Ritta... Kreamer and Torry islands
would be flooded at these levels including some campgrounds and roads. It
must be emphasized that the exact impact on the lake still depends on how close
and from what direction Frances approaches the lake.
... Wind impacts...
winds will begin increasing early on Friday with sustained tropical storm
force winds arriving along the southeast coast Friday afternoon. Hurricane force
winds would affect the Palm Beach and northeast Broward Metro areas beginning
around midnight Friday night and lasting through midday Saturday. Across south Broward and Miami-Dade... tropical storm force winds would arrive Friday afternoon and last through Saturday morning. This would be a very long time for such strong winds... which means a greater potential for significant damage... including mobile homes and extensive damage to weaker structures like gas station roofs. Winds over inland sections of South Florida will increase to tropical storm force winds Friday afternoon and evening and reach near hurricane strength Friday night and Saturday.
Be sure to store all lawn furniture and secure swing sets and loose yard items.
Remove coconuts from Palm trees because they can become deadly missiles in
hurricane force winds. There is still uncertainty with the exact forecast track
of Frances... and should the track be shifted... the wind impact would change
... Local marine impacts...
based on the current forecast track... seas will increase along the
Southeast Florida coast tonight and especially Friday morning.
Sea conditions will further deteriorate Friday and hurricane
conditions can be expected over the Southeast Florida coastal waters
Friday evening lasting well into Saturday. On Lake Okeechobee... winds
will reach tropical storm force late Friday and likely be hurricane force late
Friday night and early Saturday. Mariners should secure their boats in safe
Harbor allowing extra line for the possibility of storm surge levels or dry dock
as soon as possible. There is still uncertainty with the exact forecast track of
Frances... and should the track be shifted... the marine impact would change
... Local flood impacts...
squalls will begin to move ashore along the southeast coast tonight and then
increase in frequency and duration Friday. The heaviest rainfall will likely
occur Friday night through Saturday night. Forecast storm total rainfall amountsthrough Sunday in Palm Beach County are expected to be from 8 to 10 inches with local amounts as high as 12 inches possible especially where Frances crosses the coastline. In Glades and Hendry counties... maximum rainfall totals of 6 to 8 inches are possible. From 2 to 6 inches are possible across the rest of South Florida depending on the exact track of Frances. A Flood Watch is in effect for all of South Florida except coastal Collier and Mainland Monroe counties.
... Local tornado impacts...
there is a threat of tornadoes in the outer rainbands of Frances. The threat of
tornadoes will be greatest beginning Friday and lasting throughout Saturday.