Monroe County Emergency Management Advises Residents Tropical Storm Ian Advances

Monroe County Emergency Management is coordinating with the National Weather Service – Key West to advise residents on specific details about Tropical Storm Ian.

“At this time, we will not be making any evacuation decisions, sheltering, or subsequent protective measures,” said Monroe County Emergency Management Director Shannon Weiner. “We will reevaluate today at 3 p.m.”

Monroe County Government offices are scheduled to be open on Monday and airports will be open as well.

Tropical Storm Ian is forecast to intensify to hurricane strength late Sunday or Sunday night as it turns toward the northwest into the northwest Caribbean Sea.

Ian is expected to turn toward the north northwest by late Monday while approaching western Cuba.

Ian is currently forecast to reach major hurricane (Category 3) strength while moving northward towards the southeast Gulf of Mexico near the latitude of the Florida Keys. 

Tropical storm force winds could arrive as early as early Monday evening. Therefore, any preparations should be complete by Monday afternoon. 

Hurricane-force winds are also possible for some portions of the middle and lower Florida Keys, with the most likely time frame for the roughest weather midday Tuesday through Tuesday night.

“It is still a little too early to discuss the magnitude of specific impacts to the Florida Keys at this time,” said National Weather Service – Key West’s Jon Rizzo. “However, this information is expected to become somewhat clearer beginning later today.”

Potential impacts to the area include storm surge, damaging winds, flooding rainfall, and the threat for isolated tornadoes in rain bands.

Residents are advised to monitor future forecasts and briefings extremely closely and to review tropical cyclone preparedness plans and ensure any emergency supply kit are well-stocked.

It is important to note that Monroe County does not supply sandbags to residents. With the type of flooding issues in the area, sandbags have proven to be insufficient in the past.

For more hurricane preparation information in Monroe County, click here.