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  • From: Phil Heyl <pjheyl AT yahoo.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 14:59:16 -0700 (PDT)
At 0500 today  Monroe County lifted the mandatory evacuation of the Florida Keys.  With the storm moving to the Yucatan Pass, the CPA will be in excess of 180nm by this evening.  We were spared having a storm as dangerous as IVAN hit the Florida Keys.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families who were on Islands that were closer to the storm.
We in the Florida Keys should not become complacent just because of the recent experience of three hurricanes missing the Keys.  I am proud to have seen how well our Federal, State, County and Local governments worked together as a team to prepare for storms, and plan for the response to the aftermath of a hurricane here in the Keys.  But I am concerned that the public may not heed future warnings.
Throughout these three storms, the U.S. Coast Guard was "On watch" with cutters and aircraft actively patrolling the Florida Straits and Gulf of Mexico.  We were "ready" to assure the SAFETY of people on the water through Marine broadcasts and an aggressive Search and Rescue posture.   Preparing for hurricanes the U.S.C.G. PROTECTS THE MARITIME TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE so that the ports can be secured and then opened to resume commerce as soon as possible after the hurricane passes.  The USCG also SUPPORTS ALL OTHER GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES...as a member of the Department of Homeland Security, the USCG is directly linked to FEMA and other agencies to provide disaster response.  Finally, the USCG is a HUMANITARIAN service, I am proud to say that USCG air crews responded to recent requests by the Bahamian government to provide airlift support to move equipment and supplies by air between islands.
The U.S.C.G. is as our motto claims, "Always Ready."  As our families return to the Keys, we are reminded that while many refer to "luck,"  it is essential to be ready with good sound planning and to work as a team in order to prepare for, and successfully deal with challenges like IVAN.  It is our responsibility to raise the awareness of the public not to be complacent in responding to authorities who order evacuations in the future.
Be safe,
Semper Paratus,
CAPT Phillip J. Heyl, USCG

- Update
  • From: "Randy O'Connell, Section 14 Education Administrator" <randy_oconnell AT aysosection14.org>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 13:02:55 -0400
Quite in the Keys,
So far Ivan is forecast to pass to the west of us.  Still plenty of locals in town watching the track, but most are ready to take off in case of a major adjustment.  At this point Ivan will pass ~ 150 miles to the west, which means that we will look forward to some rain and windy conditions late tonight or mayby tomorrow.  Long range radar just begining to show outer feeder bands on the far side of cuban shores. 
Current conditions in Big Pine, partly cloudy, 88 degrees, and wind at 15 MPH. 

Randy O'Connell



  • From: Gert van Dijken <gert AT vandijken.com>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 11:39:14 -0400 (EDT)

IVAN--Key West Evacuation Begins

Monroe County has ordered the Evacuation of Key West this morning at 0700
Local time (L).  U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West ordered the evacuation of
Coast Guard personnel and families today at 0710L.

At 2300L Hurricane Ivan was located 725 nm (833 sm) southeast of Key West
moving northwesterly (300 degrees) at 11 kts (13 mph),the storm has slowed
down by 2kts in the past six hours. Right now closest point of approach to
Key West based on the 2300L advisory is now 26 nm (30 sm) west at 1300L on
Monday.  This is subject to change, but unless something changes
dramatically we can expect a Category Four Hurricane near Key West on
Monday, 13 September. Onset of 35 kts (40 mph) winds should start as early
as Sunday evening (2100L) and 50 kts (58 mph) winds on station by Monday
morning (0300L).

The U.S. Coast Guard, as part of the Department of Homeland Security, is
taking proactive measures to minimize the risks to the safety of life at
sea, our commercial port infrastructure and the marine environment in the
Florida Keys.  These measures included marine information broadcasts,
flights over our busy sea-lanes in the Florida Straits, monitoring of the
movement of vessels and cargos in port areas to protect infrastructure and
prevent the spill of harmful materials in our waterways.

We continue to monitor the progress and potential impact of IVAN and we have
re-positioned many of our assets to allow us to provide immediate support to
those areas impacted.  This includes any sea or inland rescue efforts
required, potential medevac flights, port and navigational assessments and
response to oil or chemical spills into our waterways.

Recovery from IVAN will be a significant challenge, but we are not alone.
FEMA has done a fantastic job helping those struck by Charley and Frances,
and is prepared to do the same for IVAN.  Additionally, all of the DHS
partners including ICE, CBP and USBP are prepared to provide assistance to
local and state agencies.

AN ADVANCE WORD OF CAUTION FOR BOATERS:  Check with local authorities before
entering any storm-damaged area. Do not rush down to your boat. Do not try
to reach your boat until authorities have made safe access available. Do not
try to board a partially sunken boat; seek salvage assistance from a
professional.  Watch out for oil, gasoline or chemical spills and report
them to the Coast Guard.

Semper Paratus..."Always Ready"

Phillip J. Heyl, CAPT, USCG
Commander, Sector Key West

  • From: SHARONLEE AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 12:37:54 EDT

  I live in the Florida Keys and they have already stated that visitors, tourist, and people in Mobile Homes must evacuate today. I myself, daughter and grandgirls will be out of here Sat am. We only have two lanes to get out of the Keys and that makes it a little more diffcult. Hope this has been of some help? If the Keys get hit, there will be not much left for homes.

- Public Safety Announcement Florida Keys
  • From: "Midge Jolly, midwife" <midgewife AT earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 22:11:18 -0400

From the:



Monroe County Emergency Management 

Public Safety AnnouncementCopy of EmMgtLogoSmall2.jpg (51556 bytes)

Emergency Information Hotline 800-955-5504

(305) 289-6018

(305) 289-6333 fax


National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml

National Weather Service Key West: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/eyw/


Wednesday, September 8, 2004

This is a message and update for our residents and guests of the Florida Keys concerning Hurricane Ivan. The latest National Hurricane Center advisory posted at 5:00 am Wednesday suggests that Hurricane Ivan is a formable storm that we must watch closely over the next week. The storm is still 1500 miles away from our shores as it moves westward across the southeastern Caribbean Sea. As always the Monroe County Emergency Management Team will remain vigilant on your behalf and provide you with concise update information and safety planning. As such, please remain calm and attentive for future updates at the Monroe County Emergency Management Website, Channel 16 and your local radio stations. If there are any questions or concerns relating to this storm please contact us at (305) 289-6018.   

POSTED BY:::midge Jolly

- Frances..........Ivan
  • From: "Midge Jolly, midwife" <midgewife AT earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 22:10:52 -0400

We return home after having spent Frances on the mainland, in the path, experiencing incoveniences, tornadoes and much rain, but all are well.
As all island dwellers know, any inconvenience on land is likely preferrable to island bound with no way out.
As we drove through the keys this evening, many homes/businesses remain shuttered and prepared for the Ivan after experiencing TS winds and rain with Frances.
Our yard, gardens and roads all show signs of high wind, rain and rising water. All damage repairable.
We have brought our suitcases in, unpacked nothing except the cats and await news of Ivan, another extreme storm. LIkely we will evacuate again within the next 48 hours.
Ivan has already wreaked havoc on Grenada and we hold hope for safety for the remaining islands.
wishing all well.
please........if you email me and I do not respond, it is because we are on the road, without power, etc. we all appreciate your good wishes and wish you the same.
midge Jolly, midwife
mariposa en los arboles

- keys "cautiously optimistic"
  • From: "Midge Jolly, midwife" <midgewife AT earthlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 05:22:40 -0400

It is a lovely morning here in the Fabulous Florida Keys.
Beautiful thunderheads rolling in from the East with a crystal clear sky full of stars and waning moon lighting up the clouds as is cloud to cloud lighting. A fresh breeze is a rare treat in September.
The county Emergency Management is monitoring Frances approach, but is still activated at day-to-day levels according to their website at 5AM 9/1.
After close to 30 year years living in the lower Keys, Our family and business hurricane plan include us leaving with the approach of a category 3 storm, so leave we do. Home and business shutters staged for hanging this AM; office and home final packing up this AM. Supplies stocked in house for our return we will be unplugging all electrical appliances save the fridges, putting official US Postal Service HOLD requests in our mailboxes and off we go to Citrus County. Even Citrus on the west coast above Tampa is inside "the cone" of possibility by NHC, but is exponentially preferrable to being in the keys during this awesomely powerful storm.
Some weather and news personnel sugget that leaving in advance of an official evacuation order may put us in the way of "those who really need to evacuate". Somehow, we feel that living out in the ocean at sea level puts one in the category of "those who really need to evacuate", if they feel it is prudent.
While some folks here are "getting ready" for Frances, few are preparing to leave. Still little action in the hardware stores as of late in day on Tuesday; will see what today brings with increasing projection of a Florida landfall.
If you are unsure what to do to prepare here are a few links that may be of help:
boat preparation http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/61798tip3.htm
general Monroe County info---lots of essentials specific to the Florida Keys http://www.state.fl.us/monroe/pages/hurrican/hprepcov.htm
GREAT SITE more general info---with many links specific to pre and post storm info http://monroe.ifas.ufl.edu/hurricane%20links.htm
For those unfamiliar with the geography of the Keys, it is a chain of islands connected by bridge extending ~150 miles from the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. Most of the islands are at sea level, our property floods regularly during our highest annual tides and when winds are pushing from the west. The highest point on Key West is ~12'; Solares Hill. From the county survival info "Because the Florida Keys consists of a chain of small, low-lying islands, we are vulnerable to both the high winds and storm surge associated with hurricanes. The reef that many people think protects the keys from hurricanes extends all along the length of the keys, but did not save the hundreds of people who died during the great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935." It is important to note that those folks had little warning and certainly no way to evacuate timely.
Will hopefully post again before we leave after noon today. Husband headed to town to finalize some landscaping work before we head out, will ask him to take pulse and share his observations as soon as possible.
Eagerly awaiting reports from our island families throughout the Caribbean as Frances passes.
Holding the vision of safety for all island dwellers.
midge Jolly, midwife
mariposa en los arboles

- from Emergency Management website
  • From: "Midge Jolly, midwife" <midgewife AT earthlink.net>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 21:11:34 -0400

Emergency Information Hotline 800-955-5504

(305) 289-6018

(305) 289-6333 fax


Copy of EmMgtLogoSmall2.jpg (51556 bytes)


Hurricane Advisory Tuesday, Aug 31, 2004 1:29 PM

Keys Residents, Visitors should remain vigilant and monitor progress of Hurricane Frances

Monroe County Emergency Management officials and the Key West National Weather Service continue to closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Frances, now a category 4 storm currently about 1,200 miles to the east, southeast of the Florida Keys.

National Hurricane Center computer models have moved the storm’s official track to the north and there is cautious optimism that Frances may not significantly impact the Keys.

However, meteorological and emergency management officials are cautioning Keys residents and visitors to remain vigilant with regards to the progress of Frances. In a conference call late Tuesday morning with Florida county emergency management directors, Max Mayfield, the director of the National Hurricane Center, specifically said no area on Florida’s east coast including the Keys was “off the hook” yet.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, an “increased state of readiness” was declared in Monroe County to put appropriate county personnel and resources on standby if protective actions are required.

Emergency Management officials advise that travelers can continue with Labor Day travel arrangements to the Keys. However, visitors and Keys tourism-related businesses should closely monitor the progress of the storm and prepare to take actions in the event a mandatory nonresident and visitor evacuation order is required. That order would include instructions for those with short-term Keys Travel plans to postpone them until any threat passes.

Keys hurricane preparedness information is available at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/pages/hurrican/hprepcov.htm Florida Keys weather information is available at www.srh.noaa.gov/eyw


Hurricane Frances Announcement

As of 11 a.m. Monday, August 30th, it is too early to make a precise prediction about the future movement of hurricane Frances and its affect on Monroe County.

Please refer to your personal, family or business hurricane plan and be prepared to follow upcoming protective actions from Emergency Management. 

Check weather broadcasts frequently on Channel 16 and 52 or listen to your NOAA weather radio station or local radio station for up-to-the-minute information. 

If you do not have a personal, family or business hurricane plan, please decide NOW where you will go if ordered to evacuate, who you will notify about your destination, and what you will take with you.


For more information contact our office at the number listed above, or visit the following web sights:

National Weather Service Key West: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/eyw/

National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.html

midge Jolly

- FRANCES-lower keys quiet, little preparation
  • From: "Midge Jolly, midwife" <midgewife AT earthlink.net>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 21:15:52 -0400

Just returning from Key West where all is quiet. Hard to say whether folks are already prepared after the close brush with H. Charley on 8/13, just over two weeks ago.
Husband was in hardware stores today on business and reports all uneventful, low volume of customers in town.
This evening traffic was quiet, Grocery store, business as usual. My son and I were the only ones picking up additional supplies, back up prescriptions tonight.
We are on Sugarloaf Key, MM19. Our family and business are now operating under our own hurricane protocols. Our home was damaged beyond repair during Georges in 1998. We evacuated then, thank goodness, so we are not eager to be in the Keys during a category 3 or stronger storm. NO  shelters are open here once storms reach category 3.
We have staged all shutters for house and plywood for business. We continue to tidy up loose ends with business and home; plan to pack up office and home for evac tomorrow, waiting for 11AM 8/31 advisory from NHC before actually putting up shutters. Family/friends on mainland expecting us as soon as we can get there. Pets prepped for evac. Looking to evacuate late Wednesday unless something changes dramatically; would actually be earlier if business obligations did not require staying until Wednesday afternoon.
Most people taking a wait and see attitude and depending on the "experts" to tell them when/what to do.
Local weather reporting out of Miami is a mix of following the NHC projected cone of possibility to outright prediction that the HIGHs will merge, preventing any northward turn and pushign Frances into south Florida.
Hoping for safety of other island dwellers and wishing for a fish storm.
midge jolly in the lower keys
mariposa en los arboles
Sugarloaf Key
May Peace Prevail on Earth

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