LARGO – As Hurricane Irma slowly churns through the Atlantic, Largo officials are quickly working to prepare for worst-case scenarios.
Largo Fire Rescue Chief Shelby Willis, who is also the emergency manager for the city, and Brian Usher, director of department of public works, discussed some of those measures Sept. 5 during a City Commission meeting at City Hall.
“At this point, we are still in a wait-and-see mode,” Willis said. “We are trying to determine what path the hurricane will take before we make specific decisions.”
One of those decisions will be deciding when to begin evacuations for the storm, which was a Category 5 as of the morning of Sept. 6.
“We have tentative plans in place to partially open an (Emergency Operations Center) to begin evacuations of our citizens when we’re told to do so, and then we’ll fully activate the EOC a day or so later – well before the storm starts.”
In addition, Usher said city staff have been making several sweeps of the city to clear building sites of debris and to make sure no materials are left on the side of the road.
He said Pinellas County also has begun drawing down the depth of Taylor Lake in order to increase its capacity.