Florida Keys getting prepped for Laura just in case

KEY WEST, Fla. – Monroe County Emergency Management rescinded a mandatory evacuation put into place Friday in preparation for Tropical Storm Laura.

The evacuation for the Florida Keys was for all live-aboard vessels, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, travel trailers and campers.

Despite the rescinded order, Monroe County officials want to make sure residents are prepared for any unexpected changes, and whatever the storm may bring.

“Shannon Weiner, Director of Monroe County Emergency Management, said anyone in the Florida Keys on Monday should stay alert. “For both our visitors and our residents, it won’t be a typical day in Monroe County come Monday so be prepared and have a plan.”

On Sunday, there were a few places boarding up just in case.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty still around this particular storm,” said Monroe County Mayor Healther Carruthers. “People still need to be wary, they need to keep their eyes open.”

Carruthers advised residents to prepare by taking in all outdoor equipment. “Secure everything so things aren’t flying around.”

The mayor and emergency management officials are concerned that people will be lulled into a false sense of security just because it doesn’t appear that the storm will actually make landfall in the Keys.

“(We) still need to be vigilant and cautious, take all of our protective measures, secure and tie down all our boats and outside belongings because, as you know, even in 20 to 35 mph sustained winds those can be missiles.” Weiner said.

It appears that Laura will stay offshore in the Keys, but the lower Keys could still feel gusts on Monday. Weiner said that flooding has been an issue on Key West’s Duval Street and she’s expecting that to possibly be the case on Monday night.

“Specifically, the lower Keys and Key West are going to feel more of that then the upper Keys,” Weiner said. “Have your flashlights, your generators, your food and your water. Be prepared for that severe weather.”

A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for the Florida Keys including Key West.

[RELATED: Download Local 10′s Hurricane Survival Guide: Includes COVID-19 Shelter Protocol]

(Local 10′s Ian Margol will be covering the storm in the Keys throughout Tropical Storm Laura. Stay tuned to Local 10 and Local10.com for complete coverage.)

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