Hurricane Irma County Status Update

Palm Beach County Emergency Management officials are continuing response operations for Hurricane Irma. The Emergency Operations Center is currently at a partial Level 2 activation.

FEMA Declaration

Preliminary damage assessments to residences and businesses have been estimated at $247 million in the county at this time. Damage to public facilities, roads, parks, as well as debris removal and protective measures are estimated at $56 million. As a result, Palm Beach County has been included in a FEMA Major Disaster Declaration, triggering the release of Federal funds to help people and communities recover from Hurricane Irma.

Residents with losses due to Hurricane Irma in Palm Beach County may now register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Individuals can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

You may also register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice.

Curfews

A curfew for all of Palm Beach County remains in place and the hours have been modified to 12 a.m. – 6 a.m. until further notice. This curfew is to ensure the safety of citizens as well as to protect the personal property and businesses from looters.

Although the curfew is modified, that does not mean that all the roads are 100% clear and safe. There are traffic lights that are inoperable and traffic signs down. Please remember to treat all inoperable traffic lights as a four way stop. Proceed cautiously. We will continue to update the status of county infrastructure as the day goes on.

Power Outages

Do NOT call 911 if your power is out. FPL is reporting 275,960 customers in Palm Beach County without power. Power has been restored to 404,830 customers. FPL is working to restore power to the largest number of customers possible, in the shortest amount of time as well as repairing damage to power plants, power lines and local substations. FPL expects to return power to all Palm Beach County residents through the weekend.

Reduce Water Usage

Customers of Palm Beach County Water Utilities are asked to limit draining or flushing water into the sanitary system until FPL has fully restored power to the county.

This includes bathing, toilet flushing, dish washing and running any kind of water down drains. Anyone who experiences an impact to their water service after Hurricane Irma can report the issue by calling (561) 740-4600.

Boil Order

The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department announced Wednesday that the Boil Water Notice for Pahokee and Canal Point had ended and that water in the area was once again safe for consumption.

With the lifting of the Boil Water Notice in Pahokee and Canal Point, all water in the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department system is safe for all uses, including drinking and cooking. This includes PBC WUD customers served in the eastern part of the county as well as all of the Glades area.

Generators

While residents await the restoration of power, it is important to maintain proper safety measures while using a generator. 

Please keep your generator at least 10ft. away from your home and away from open windows.

Let your generator cool down before refueling.

Never refill your generator while it is running.

Garbage Collection

The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s recycling facility, the Recovered Materials Processing Facility, has regained power and will be open for receiving recyclables as of 7 a.m. today.

Please place garbage and recyclables out to the curb by 6 a.m. on your regularly scheduled day.

However, vegetation collection WILL NOT resume as normal. In preparation for debris removal, residents are asked to help clean up our community by placing their waste and debris in three separate piles at the curb:

1.     Put garbage and recyclables out by 6 a.m. on your regularly scheduled day. These will be picked up first.

2.     Put all vegetation only in a second pile.

3.     And, put all other construction storm debris in a third pile.

Be sure to keep these three piles separate and away from:

·           Fences

·           Mailboxes

·           Power line equipment, poles, transformers, downed electrical wiring

·           Water meters

·           Fire hydrants or

·           Storm drains

Palm Tran

Thursday, Sept. 14:

  • Palm Tran will resume normal service and hours.
  • Palm Tran Connection will resume normal service and hours

Route 41 (West Palm Beach to Palm Beach Inlet) is not in service until Monday.

 

Damage Assessments

PBC-DART is an important way to report damage to the EOC. DART is available for IOS and android devices.

Closings

County offices will open Thursday.

All courthouses will be fully operational, including holding court events, on Thursday and Friday of this week (September 14th and September 15th).

The Palm Beach County School District will be opening 27 schools tomorrow and Friday to serve breakfasts and lunches to all children under 18. More info at palmbeachschools.org.

The Port of Palm Beach is open.

Up-to-date information will also be posted on Palm Beach County’s website: www.pbcgov.org.

 

Assisting Other Counties

Overall, we are in much better shape than others. The Palm Beach County All-Hazards Incident Management Team was deployed to assist Monroe County after Hurricane Irma. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue is sending personnel and equipment to assist in recovery operations. 

Palm Beach County’s Emergency Management Director Bill Johnson is also assisting emergency management officials in Monroe County.  Bill has an extensive experience with hurricane recovery.

 

For continuing information on Hurricane Irma, and for more information on the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management and hurricane preparedness, please visit: www.pbcgov.com/dem, follow us on Twitter @PBCDEM and watch PBC-TV Channel 20.