The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on September 14, 1999 · Page 11
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 11

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 14, 1999
Page 11
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UI s c THE PALM BEACH POST TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1999 13A" 1o Regulators Flovd 'controls its own destiny' continue I draining oi canals FLOYD From 1A ,b ?By Robert P. King B Palm Beach Post Staff Writer a in &MX Preparing for a hurricane expected to be more windy than wet, water managers continued 0 draining canals Monday and pre-oi pared to evacuate most of their ,taff out of harm's way. -tP- Forecasters at the South jn.Florida Water Management Dis-Hf.trict said Hurricane Floyd could .c'jfrop as much as 7 inches of rain Offrf- a lot, but not nearly the 20 -js.inches-plus that some unnamed joeluges have delivered in recent years. And the ground is drier and wmore able to soak up the rain than -it was last month, when Hurricane Dennis threatened the state, district spokeswoman Ann Overton said. - Still, the district was lowering water levels throughout its 1,600-mile-long network of canals, pumps and floodgates to make room. , So were local flood controllers liljch as the Lake Worth Drainage District, which operates hundreds of miles of canals from West Palm Beach to Boca Raton. The district had its canals 2 feet below normal Monday and might empty them by this afternoon, Executive Director Bill Winters sjtid. ,7, In Martin County, the U.S. Apny Corps of Engineers was flowering the St Lucie Canal upstream of the St. Lucie Lock, Operations Chief Pete Milam said. The corps also has halted all flows i, otit of Lake Okeechobee. ryr The lake was at 15 feet, 10 nJnches above sea level Monday barely below the level at which -,0jlhe corps would normally begin - ,releasing water into the St. Lucie River Meanwhile, the water district 3-may send all but four or five key Qjmanagers out of its headquarters oc 'm suburban West Palm Beach if -frEloyd threatens a direct hit, n-Overton said. If necessary, she Hisaid, the agency can operate its flood control system from Davie jjy: Clewiston. cJ;i. The district's 8-year-old, $18 nsmillion headquarters just south of nalm Beach International Airport f2has roof leaks and isn't designed (ito withstand winds over 120 mph. -uiAi hurricane-proof emergency center is under construction. 30 - FPL bulks up rework torce ior 1 Coming storm ';By John Murawski Wrdlm Beach Post Staff Writer 2 WEST PALM BEACH ..Florida Power & Light Co. had "T.OOO people lined up for power Fe'storation efforts Monday, including about 1,000 contractors ahd workers at other utilities. The i company's normal power restoration force is about 2,000. ijjp,,, FPL will send out crews for A rputine repairs until winds ap-fi proach 35 mph. At that point, the .company calls the workers off Vuntil the storm passes, a spokes- ' woman said Monday. FPL will start shutting down the reactor at its St Lucie nuclear plant on Hutchinson Island early today if Hurricane Floyd appears headed for the Treasure Coast, spokeswoman Janice Brady said. Under federal law, nuclear plants must shut down two hours before winds reach hurricane force. It takes six to 10 hours to shut down a nuclear reactor, Brady said. One of St. Lucie's reactors was already shut down Monday for refueling and maintenance. The reactors are protected by a 3&foot, steel-reinforced concrete wall, and can withstand winds up to 200 mph, Brady said. FPL wants customers to call the utility to report downed power lines, but not just to say their power is out If customers still cdon't have electricity after power pitas been restored in a neighbor- p'hood, then they should call FPL I'Oustomers are asked to use the i"phone number on their electricity bills, or these numbers: H Rnra Raton-Delrav Reach: 994-8227 Wpst Palm Rparh nrpa crir 11 V fl Martin County: 287-5400 H St. Lucie County: 462-0555 B Broward County: (954) 797-5000 H Indian River County: (800) $26-3545 v into tonight Gov. Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency, giving him the authority to deploy the state's National Guard and allowing the state to seize property, order evacuations and suspend tolls on the highways. The east coast from Florida City, south of Miami, to Brunswick, Ga., was under a hurricane warning. "It's scary. It's very scary," said Bush, who lived in Miami when Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. "Andrew hit Miami in the middle of the night and it was haunting. This is as strong and . . . three times bigger." Forecasters had expected it to turn more northward, reducing the danger to Florida. But as the day wore on and there was no sign that the hurricane was being influenced by weather systems in its path, a new scenario began taking shape: Floyd paralleling Florida's coastline just offshore, beating it like a Weed-eater from Miami-Dade all the way to the Georgia border. "It's controlling its own destiny," said Jerry Jarrell of the National Hurricane Center. "That's a bad sign." Palm Beach County emergency officials ordered evacuation of residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and flood-prone areas at 5:30 p.m. Monday, and 10 certified Red Cross Shelters opened at 7 p.m. City officials in Pahokee opened their own shelter at Pahokee High School. The shelter at Lake Worth Middle School was full by 11 p.m. Fear of Floyd suspended normal life throughout Florida, shutting down government, schools, power plants and military bases and filling inland motels. NASA all but abandoned Cape Canaveral, which is only 9 feet above sea level, sending most of the 12,500 workers inland and leaving three space shuttles in a hangar designed to withstand winds of up to only 105 mph. To reduce the flood threat, South Florida water managers opened all the canals leading to the ocean to lower levels in lakes and canals across the southern half of the state. Palm Beach County schools are closed today and Wednesday. Libraries and county offices, including the courthouses, are closed today. Palm Tran, Tri-Rail and SpecTran Special Needs Transportation services are also suspended today but expected to resume on Wednesday unless damage from the storm is extensive. Trash pickup was canceled in much of Palm Beach County, and all Solid Waste Authority sites are closed. West Palm Beach had all its garbage crews out Monday collecting vegetation and garbage from every street in the city, said acting City Administrator Ed Mitchell. Garbage crews were expected to hit the streets again at 4 a.m. today. Potted plants and trash cans that line Clematis Street were collected Monday afternoon, while utilities crews were clearing storm drains and filling gas tanks in city vehicles. By 7 p.m., police were stationed along bridges over the Intracoastal, turning non-residents away, telling residents to leave and warning them that no one would be allowed to cross to the islands after 6 a.m. today. In Palm Beach Shores, officers started going door-to-door, asking 4. ' ; 4 .. tm mi i HP : . ,... J..' ; ; . j : f - "f . Li --"' " ' - - 547-5527 : - " f 1 ! i ,9 MARVIN JOSEPHStaff Photographer The owners of several businesses along Antique Row on South Dixie Highway got an early start on boarding up store windows Monday afternoon. The owners of this antique shop left no doubt about their status by painting 'we are not open' on the plywood covering its storefront. " Lauiuue: o. n Longuuae: w j raon ; nuannc . wind speed: 85 mph Beach ; Ocean ; Direction: West at 16 mph m ; 1 .r-;. AFRICA Thursday Wednesday SOUTH 8 p.m. 8 p.m. : AMERICA . DU tU -30 LTD E0 CO EH EHO Latest updates, tracking maps and free e-mail advisories: people to leave their homes. By 7:45 p.m. Monday, 40 people had already staked out their sleeping spots at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Boynton Beach. "You have to do so much when you're all alone down here and your family is up north," said Gladys Halter, 76, who sat next to her box of canned food, Saltines, straws and a can opener. Halter lives in Royal Manor Mobile Home Park and has had to evacuate three times in 21 years as a Floridian. A shelter for home-bound and nursing home patients dependent on oxygen and other treatments was opened at the South Florida Fairgrounds. About 500 people are pre-registered for the shelter, which is manned by the Red Cross and other agencies. No unregistered patients are admitted. Women who are 36 weeks into pregnancy or considered high risk can seek shelter at St. Mary's or Wellington Regional Medical Center, but only with their doctor's approval. They should bring blankets, pillows, food, water, medicines and other necessities to last a week. Sugar cane, citrus and vegetable farmers worked to drain fields and refuel pumps ahead of the hurricane's expected heavy rain. Citrus growers worried that high winds will bruise fruit and standing water will rot tree roots. That worry of a reduced crop spilled over into the market Monday, sending orange juice futures surging more than 4 percent, the biggest gain in a month. A. Duda & Sons scrapped planting corn and radishes Monday at its 20,000-acre Belle Glade farm. "We don't want to put money in the ground and have it washed away," said Ed Hamilton, division vice president for Duda's Florida farms. Evacuations Authorities have ordered the evacuation of all barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying areas. In addition, some local police are asking residents of other areas to leave, including: Boynton Beach: east of Interstate 95. Lantana: Hypoluxo Island Lake Worth: east of Federal Highway Riviera Beach: east of Broadway As Hurricane Floyd continued to grow in strength and size, state emergency management officials feared it would become the third Category 5 storm to strike the U.S. this century. The 1935 Labor Day storm that devastated the Keys killed more than 400 people and Hurricane Camille, which hit Mississippi in 1969, killed 256. Hurricane Andrew was a Category 4. During a telephone conference Monday, James Lee Witt, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, asked Craig Fugate, the state's chief of preparedness response, if FEMA could offer Florida anything. "We're praying for you. Does that help?" Witt asked. "We'll take that," Fugate said. B Palm Beach Post staff writers Sanjay Bhatt, Noah Bierman, Joe Brogan, Shirish Date, Stephanie Desmon, Bill Douthat, Mary Ellen Flannery, Marcia Gelbart, Willie Howard, Matt Mossman, John Murawski, Christine Stapleton, Julie Waresh and Lillian Weis contributed to this story. j .V.l hit Lake Worth not happ being close to action3 "It's pretty scary when you have The Weather Channel reporting from Lake Worth," Mayor Tcm Ramiccio said. The Lake Worth beach, with itin 960-foot-long pier, is the closest point to the Gulf Stream and one of the most eastern points in Florida, he said. "This is going to be a nasty storm. It will be a disaster with all the work we've put inW downtown if it doesn't veer off." S Last month, waves from Hurricane Dennis, which didn't come within 100 miles of Florida, r-a knocked off temporary wrappings from the pier's pilings and popped off $8,000 worth of wooden boards. The boards have been recovered and' reinstalled. "H Safety in numbers Lotto, that is v " While Floyd captured the attention of Floridi-ans from Key West to St. Augustine, West Palm-: Beach resident Diane Taylor had another five, letters on her mind: L-O-T-T-O. Taylor, 56, presentfed her winning lottery ticket, worth $3.78 million, at Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee on Mondayj. Taylor, an accountant for a property management company, chose to take her prize in 30 annuals payments of about $126,000 each. "I'm single, I've got a nice car and nice clothes, so I've beetV; fortunate along the way," Taylor told Lottery officials. "This is just security to go in the bank,ba-sically, for a nice comfortable retirement with, j N nothing to worry about" j. , 4 NASA fears for space shuttle safety CAPE CANAVERAL NASA's four space shuttles were in danger as the agency braced," Hurricane Floyd, a storm powerful enough towtpe out its launch pads and hangars. All of the shuttles are in hangars. But the Dinld-ings are designed to withstand wind of no morer than 105 mph to 125 mph. Floyd had top sustained winds of 155 mph as of Monday afternoon. LJ fl "We're going to live and hope that's what; it's going to take," NASA spokesman George Diller said as Kennedy Space Center's approxP mately 12,500 workers began evacuating. q Even if the hurricane skirts the Central Florida coast and passes 35 miles offshore, forecasters have warned Kennedy Space Center to expect 150-mph winds on Wednesday. Backstreet Boys don't want it this way Apparently, there's a phenomenon that's bigger than the Backstreet Boys. Because of Hurricane Floyd, the pop group has postponed its two concerts at the National Car Rental Center iniSjin-rise, scheduled for today and Wednesday. The new dates are Dec. 5-6. Ticket buyers can obtain a refund at the point of purchase or use their tickets for the corresponding December performances. Airport will close at 70 mph 1 19 Palm Beach International Airport remained; open through Monday but supervisors will met this morning to consider whether it should close today. The airport must close if sustained winds reach 70 mph, at which point it becomes unsafe to operate the control tower, officials said. - Lake 0 passage restricted Boats will not be allowed to pass through tne Lake Okeechobee locks once wind at the locks reaches 39 mph, said Jim Vearil, a hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in ; Jacksonville. , Staff Writers Scott McCabe, Mary Ellen Flannery, Kevin Thompson, Charles Passy, Lillian Weis, Angie Francalancia and Robert P. King and the Associated Press contributed to this story. ; Palm Beach County closings Institutions B School District of Palm Beach County: Schools closed today and Wednesday. Youth Court, scheduled for tonight in West Palm Beach and Wednesday night in Palm Beach Gardens, has been cancelled. B Palm Beach Atlantic College: No classes today. B Florida Atlantic University: No classes today. B Lynn University: Classes as scheduled. B Northwood University: No classes today and Wednesday. B Palm Beach Community College: No classes today. B Palm Beach County government Closed today. B Palm Beach County Health Care District Closed today. B Palm Beach County courts: All court activities for today have been suspended. Call 355-6744 for updates. B B State government Offices closed today. Federal offices: Closed today. B Federal courts: Closed today. B Florida Dept. of Children and Families, District Nine: Closed today. B Fourth District Court Of Appeals: Closed today and Wednesday. B Palm Tran: Service suspended today. B Tri-Rail: Service suspended today. B Palm Beach County Library System: Closed today. Local governments B The Acreage: Open this morning. fl Briny Breezes: Closed today. B Clewiston: Open today. B Delray Beach: City Hall closed; city commission meeting canceled. B Greenacres: Closed today. B Gulf Stream: Closed today. B Haverhill: Closed today. B Juno Beach: Closed today. B Jupiter Closed today, fl Lake Clarke Shores: Closed today. Tonight's public budget hearing and town council meeting have been postponed to Thursday. B Lake Park: Open until noon today. B Pahokee: Closed today and Wednesday. B Palm Beach: Closed today. Town council meeting postponed to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. fl Palm Beach Gardens: Closed today. fl Palm Beach Shores: Closed today. fl Palm Springs: Closed today. Port of Palm Beach: Closed today. B Riviera Beach: Closed today. B Royal Palm Beach: Offices open today as long as possible. Public meetings and events scheduled today and Wednesday have been canceled. fl South Bay: Closed today, fl West Palm Beach: Closed today. Wednesday's Ad Hoc City Hall Selection Committee meeting postponed to 1 p.m. Sept. 22. (Please call your municipality if it is not listed.) Trash collection fl Belle Glade: Collection as scheduled today. Clewiston: Collection as scheduled today. B Juno Beach: No collection today or Wednesday. B Jup5en No collection today or Wednesday. B Lake Clarke Shores: No collection today. B Pahokee: No collection today. B Palm Beach Gardens: No collection today. fl Palm Beach Shores: No collection today or Wednesday. Palm Springs: No collection today. fl South Bay: No collection today. South Palm Beach: Condos have own arrangements. Tequesta: No collection today or Wednesday. Unincorporated areas: All Solid Waste Authority facilities are closed today. Garbage, recycling and vegetation collection has been suspended.(Please call your municipality if it is not listed.) Other closings Palm Beach County All Palm Beach County parks are closed. Boat ramps at the following county parks will remain open until further notice: Lake Ida Park, Delray Beach; John Price Park, Lake Worth; Phil Foster Park, Riviera Beach; Juno Park, Juno Beach; Bert Winters Park, Juno Beach; Burt Reynolds Park, Jupiter. A coastal cleanup, organized for Saturday by Keep Palm Beach Beautiful, Inc., has been rescheduled for Oct 2. Call 686-6646. Winn-Dixie stores that are not open 24 hours will reopen at 6 a.m. today. All Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offices are closed today. All PC Professor locations are closed aid classes have been postponed Wednesday and Thursday. Jewish Community Center locations in West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach are closed until further notice. Call 689-7700. Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County campuses in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, along with their schools, will be closed today and Wednesday. Call 470-2000. Boca Raton IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union is closed today. Call 982-4700. The International Museum of Cartoon Art and Boca Raton Museum of Art will be closed today and Wednesday. Boynton Beach Tonight's meeting of the Democratic Club of Greater Boynton, has been canceled and will be rescheduled. Call Julius Schiller at 731-3229. The Boynton Beach Mall is closed today, but Sears will be open 8 a.m. to noon. Call 736-7900. Motorola's facilities in Boynton Beach and Plantation are closed until further notice. Delray Beach The Cornell Museum of Art at Old School Square and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will be closed today and Wednesday. Lake Worth The DiBacco School is closed today and Wednesday. Palm Beach Gardens The Gardens of the Palm Beaches Mall is closed until the hurricane warning is lifted. Call 622-21 15. The Immigration and Naturalization Service offices in South Florida, including Palm Beach Gardens, are closed until further notice. i y. The Northern Palm Beaches Chamber of Commerce coffee scheduled for today has been canceled and will not be: rescheduled, fl Riviera Beach Safe Harbor Runaway Shejter is closed. Call 844-9785. R.J. Hendley Christian, Education Center is closed today ind Wednesday, fl Wellington The Sugarplum PartyParade for Tots, scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed until Nov.43. Call 7914005, ext. 139. ' tf,, West Palm Beach ( d The Armory Art Center's classes today and Wednesday have been cancelled. Calt832-1776. -' The Norton Museum 6i Art will be closed today, Wednesday and Thursday. Call 832-5196 Palm Beach Atlantic Cottage men's soccer match today against Embry-Riddle has been pgst-poned and will be reschedulecj. The Palm Beach Mall will be closed today. Call 683-9186.) & fl Outside Palm Beach County , Sunrise The Backstreet Boys concerts tonight and Wednesday night at the National Car Rental Center have been postponed to Dec. 5 and 6. Tickets for today's show will be honored Dec. 5; tickets for Wednesday's show will be honored Dec. 6. ;

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