Florida Keys expecting to get worst of Eta, Monroe County mayor says get ready

Key West braces for impact of Tropical Storm Eta
Key West braces for impact of Tropical Storm Eta

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Florida Keys is under a state of local emergency. Monroe County officials told Local 10 they are expecting as many as 15-inches of rain, along with tropical storm force winds.

As Tropical Storm Eta aims for the Florida Keys, heavy rain has started to fill the streets of Key West.

“It’s gonna be nasty,” Rick Igo, Key West resident and owner of Liquid 8 Pawn, said.

Igo, like many of the locals, is heeding the warning. "Trying to get everything buttoned down for it.”

“We’re expecting a strong tropical storm, potentially a Category 1 hurricane,” Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers said.

Flooding is her biggest worry. “Depending on where you are — possibly 2 to 3 feet above high tide,” Carruthers said.

County officials are encouraging residents living in mobile homes and aboard vessels to evacuate by 5 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors are not being asked to evacuate, but all recreational vehicles, trailers, campers, are being ordered to leave the county by 9 a.m. Sunday.

Key West High School is opening its doors to offer shelter. Officials said everyone arriving at the shelters will received COVID-19 rapid tests and that the shelters do have the space to provide social distancing.

Tourists who were out and about Saturday night are being asked to stay in their hotels during the storm.

“Do take it seriously,” Carruthers said. “Make sure you’re prepared and have everything you need to be safe for probably two days.”

State parks will be closed on Sunday and Monday. Schools will be closed on Monday.

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