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Pasco emergency operations in response mode

Posted at 8:37 AM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 11:22:09-04

Pasco County's Emergency Operations Center is fully up and running Monday morning ahead of Tropical Storm Colin.

911 service is not cut off, but when people need additional assistance, the EOC can help.

"This is a one shop stop to get all of those services and coordinate and collaborate so we don't duplicate services," said Kevin Guthrie, Pasco Director of Emergency Services."

As Tropical Storm Colin heads toward Florida's West Coast, Pasco County Emergency staff are asking residents to be ready for high winds.

As the storm comes ashore, it's expected to bring sustained winds of up to 50 miles an hour near the coast, with higher gusts possible.  Further inland, residents can expect sustained winds of up to 40 miles an hour, with higher gusts possible.

EOC workers are now coming out of that preparing stage and workers are now prepping for the potential for serious damage.

"Now it's here," Guthrie said. "So now, we're kind of shifting more to a response mode. We still have our sandbag locations open, people can still go get sandbags for the continued flooding that may arise."

Part of that response could be helping coordinate rescues.

"Folks who may become trapped in their homes, folks who may become trapped in their cars by driving through water," Guthrie said. "We're not opening up shelters but if we have somebody who is impacted in a home, we are working with human services to try and get them placed somewhere."

As the storm comes ashore, it's expected to bring sustained winds of up to 50 miles an hour near the coast, with higher gusts possible.  Further inland, residents can expect sustained winds of up to 40 miles an hour, with higher gusts possible.

Residents are asked to secure any loose items on or around their property, including things like trash cans and lawn furniture.  High winds will likely bring down some trees and power lines.

There is also a high risk in Pasco County for tornadoes and waterspouts with this tropical storm - through Monday night.

Pasco County handed out more than 12,00 sandbag over the weekend. Sandbags are available at 8 locations.  For a full list of sandbagging locations, click here.

Currently no shelters are open in Pasco County; however, Emergency Management staff is monitoring the situation closely and are ready should the need arise.

For more information about preparing for flooding, tropical storms or other disasters, please
visit: www.pascoemergencymanagement.com

To speak with someone in Pasco County customer service, call 727.847.2411.