Florida braces for Tropical Storm Fay

| 8/18/2008

Officials in Florida are preparing major routes to handle evacuation traffic and emergency aid as Tropical Storm Fay nears landfall.

The storm could make landfall late Monday, Aug. 18, or early Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather Service officials issued hurricane warnings for the Florida Keys and areas to the north. Click here to visit the Florida DOT’s weather warnings and advisories.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order on Saturday, Aug. 16, declaring a state of emergency for the entire state and urging residents and visitors to take immediate precautions. Crist ordered the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls, provide emergency assistance, and reverse the flow of traffic as needed on major evacuation routes.

Crist’s order also waived size and weight restrictions for commercial vehicles as well as hours-of-service restrictions for drivers providing emergency aid.

Tropical Storm Fay was strengthening on Monday, carrying sustained winds of 60 mph on Monday with gusts up to 115 mph.

Fay hit Cuba over the weekend and was moving north-northwest on Monday at 13 mph. Weather Service officials were predicting a northbound shift in the storm’s track.

Officials predict up to 10 inches of rainfall in the Florida Keys and 4-8 inches in other areas.