PINELLAS COUNTY - Gary Vickers, director of the county's department of Emergency Management, responded to questions around 2:30 p.m. regarding the county's response to Hurricane Charley now that the National Hurricane Center is reporting that the storm will most likely make land as early as 3:30 p.m. somewhere between Port Charlotte and Fort Myers - considerably south of the Tampa Bay area.
While county residents may still see dangerous conditions before the storm moves out of the state, if Charley does stick to the latest track, the threat from storm surge, the highest winds and tornados is much lessened.
Vickers also said the Board of County Commissioners would meet again, if necessary, and the Executive Emergency Order passed less than 3 hours ago might be lifted.
Vickers reported that Progress Energy has halted its shut down of power on the Barrier Islands. He said officials had halted any attempts to open additional shelters in the area.
Vickers said if the county board of commissioners decided to lift the state of emergency and the evacuation order, every effort would be made to get people back into their homes as quickly as possible.
The county is expected to issue another update around 3 p.m. The next report from the National Weather Service is expected around the same time.