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Important releases from Pinellas County
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DATE: August 13, 2004
TIME: 7:00 p.m.


As Hurricane Charley heads farther away from the Pinellas County area, the mandatory evacuation order for Pinellas County Levels A, B and C evacuation zones has been lifted, and a voluntary evacuation remains until 7:00 a.m. Saturday, August 14.

Effective immediately, the mandatory curfew order announced earlier has also been lifted. Special needs residents who wish to remain at shelters tonight may do so. Drawbridges will remain locked down until noon on Sunday, August 15.

At 6:00 p.m., tropical storm winds no greater than 40 mph were forecast for Pinellas County. Charley made landfall near Charlotte Harbor at 3:34 p.m. today.

Pinellas County Animal Services will be open on Saturday, August 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Owners may pick up their horses from the large-animal evacuation site at Walsingham Park after 8:00 a.m. on August 14. Pinellas County Utilities Solid Waste will be open for debris disposalduring its regular hours, 7:00 a.m.-5 p.m., on Saturday, August 14.

DATE: August 13, 2004
TIME: 1:00 p.m.
No Change In Pinellas County Activation Levels

Pinellas County Emergency Operations is not calling for a change in the evacuation levels, despite isolated reports calling for the addition of levels “D” and “E” to evacuate. A mandatory evacuation order for levels “A,” “B” and “C” ONLY remains in effect and all shelters, except the dedicated special needs shelter at Countryside High School, are open.

The shelter population as of noon was 6,834.

August 13, 2004
TIME: 7:00 a.m.
Residents Urged to Get to Their Storm Destinations This Morning

Emergency operations officials are informing residents that Hurricane Charley is continuing on a path headed directly for Pinellas County, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

Residents are urged to put their evacuation plans into place now, and to be at their evacuation destinations as soon as possible. A mandatory evacuation order for levels “A,” “B” and “C” remains in effect and all shelters are open.

Shelter population remained steady overnight at about 2,500 people.

All Sunstar ambulances will remain in service today as long as weather permits.

DATE: August 12, 2004
TIME: 9:00 p.m.

Sandbags Remain Available in Advance of Hurricane Charley
The Pinellas County Highway Department will continue to provide fill-your-own sandbags as long as supplies last. Locations where citizens can pick up bags will be open from sunrise to sunset at these Pinellas County locations:

East Lake Woodlands
East Lake Fire Station #573375
Tarpon Lakes Boulevard
Palm Harbor

Taylor Park
1100 SW 8th Avenue

Indian Rocks Beach City Hall
1507 Bay Palm Boulevard
Indian Rocks Beach

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue
Station #66
1123 Illinois Ave.
Palm Harbor

City of Belleair Beach
Bayside Park off Gulf Blvd
Between 1st and 11th Streets
Belleair Beach

City of Madeira Beach
Archibald Memorial Beach Park
15100 Gulf Blvd

Fire Station #2
1420 Pinellas Bayway S
Tierra Verde

Sandbags and sand are provided. Residents are advised to bring their own shovels. There is a limit of 25 sandbags per household.

DATE: August 12, 2004
TIME: 9:00 p.m.

Pinellas County Braces for Hurricane Charley

Pinellas County officials are gearing up to respond to the high winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Charley.

A mandatory evacuation order for levels “A,” “B” and “C” remains in effect and all shelters are open, although shelters report low numbers so far this evening. Residents are urged to put their evacuation plans into place now, and to be at their evacuation destinations as soon as possible.

The entire fleet of Sunstar ambulances is currently responding to emergencies as quickly as conditions allow, and will remain on the roadways as long as weather conditions permit. Due to a high call volume, vehicles are giving emergency calls priority; there may be some delay in responses to nonemergency requests.

Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are being transported to safe shelter this evening. There has been some delay in evacuating wheel chair patients, however additional resources are being utilized as needed to complete the process.

Officials report an increase in cell phone traffic, which continues to hamper official communications. Residents are advised to call 9-1-1 to report a police, fire or medical emergency only. Informational calls concerning Hurricane Charley are being handled by the county’s Citizens Information Center at (727) 464-4333. Operators will remain on duty until the threat of the storm subsides.

All Pinellas County government offices will be closed tomorrow, Friday, August 13. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport will close to the public after their last scheduled flight at approximately 9:30 this evening. Runways and taxiways will remain open to air traffic as long as weather conditions permit.

DATE: August 12, 2004
TIME: 5:15 p.m.

Nursing Homes Listed in Evacuation Areas

The following Pinellas County nursing homes are located in evacuation areas:

Evacuation Level A
Dolphin View
Palm Shores
Pasadena Manor
Shore Acres
Hospice Woodside

Evacuation Level B
Arbors of St. Pete
Crestmark at Huber Gardens
South Heritage Convalescent
Westminster Shores
Mariner Health Care
The Abbey
National Health Care Center
The Fountains at Boca Ciega

Evacuation Level C
Carrington Place
Bon Secours Maria Manor
Tarpon Bayou Center

DATE: August 12, 2004
TIME: 2:45 p.m.

County Recommends Use of Shelters as Last Resort

More than 350,000 Pinellas County residents may be affected by the current mandatory hurricane evacuations for Levels A, B and C. While shelters offer refuge for those who cannot leave the area, County officials urge residents in these areas to look for alternatives to shelters if at all possible.

Shelters and area hotels are likely to fill soon. Citizens are encouraged instead to go to the home of a friend or relative in a non-evacuation area.

Those who do plan to go to a shelter should be prepared for very crowded conditions and consider bringing the following items to make their stay more comfortable:

* Folding chairs, cots, pillows and blankets, special dietary needs, prescription medications, baby diapers, formula and other special needs.
* Books, puzzles and other quiet games.

Items NOT to bring:
Any pets, firearms, illegal drugs or alcohol.
For a complete list of shelters, log onto www.Fly2PIE.com and click on the Emergency Management logo. Citizens who don’t know their evacuation level may call the County’s Interactive Voice Response System at (727) 453-3150.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Clauss
August 12, 2004 Air Service Development Manager 727-453-7809

St Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport
14700 Terminal Blvd. Suite 221
Clearwater, Florida 33762
727-453-7800 * Fax: 727-453-7846

The Pinellas County Board of Commissioners has mandated evacuations of Levels A, B, C for the County. The St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and its tenants will therefore begin evacuation procedures this evening.

All Airline flights will be allowed to operate until the last scheduled flight has departed. The last scheduled flight at this time is ATA flight #426 departing to Indianapolis at 9:10 p.m. After the last flight has departed, the terminal will close and remain closed until conditions allow us to resume safe operations.

The Airport is not a Pinellas County Emergency Shelter. Citizens should contact the Pinellas County Emergency Management Citizens Information Center at (727) 464-4333 for a listing of available shelter locations or visit the County’s website at www.pinellascounty.org

Updates will be provided regarding flight activity as the airlines provide that information. Passengers who have flights over the next few days are advised to contact the individual airlines directly for flight information. Travelers may also access the airport’s website at www.Fly2PIE.com to receive updates.

DATE: August 12, 2004
TIME: 1:30 p.m.

Important Pinellas County Contact Information for Hurricane Charley:
Media Contact ONLY – (727) 464-3820
Citizen Information Center – (727) 464-4333
Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) – (727) 453-3150
Pinellas County Website: www.pinellascounty.org
WEOC Radio: 940 AM

Due to the high volume of inquiries, citizens dialing the IVRS and the Citizen Information Center and accessing the Website to find their home’s evacuation zone may experience delays.

DATE: August 12, 2004
TIME: 12:45 p.m.

Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners Mandates Evacuations for Levels A, B, C

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners has declared a state of emergency and mandated Level C evacuations for Pinellas County, effective 6 p.m. today. The Disaster Advisory Committee recommended the County prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Charley reaching Category 3 strength before reaching the Tampa Bay area on Friday.

Citizens who don’t know their evacuation level may call the County’s Interactive Voice Response System at (727) 453-3150.

Above all, residents should act early. If they wait too late to evacuate, they may be putting themselves in danger.
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