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Alert St. Pete

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January 2017

Water Quality Tests Continue After Nanoplankton And Red Tide Found

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 20, 2017) – Warning signs have been removed from waters along Coffee Pot Bayou, but state-sponsored and independent scientists continue to study the water quality following the recent rash of pelican deaths.

Initial test results, compared with a recent baseline series of samples provided by the city of St. Petersburg, showed water was within recreational use parameters. Despite increased water testing in the area, recent events have not caused a decrease in visitors to Coffee Pot Park.  Activity by residents on social media indicate that there is more fish and wildlife activity in the waters over the past week.

A water sample collected Thursday, January 19, by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff at Riviera Lake #1, the site of an initial cold weather inversion-related fish kill last week which led to discoveries of sick or dead brown pelicans, has turned up bloom concentrations of nanoplankton. Meanwhile, a water sample collected at Bayou Grande, meanwhile, where a dead white pelican was found, showed background concentrations of Karenia brevis, or red tide. Results of those tests, as well as necropsies on the dead pelicans, should be ready by next week.  Research teams from the city, state and an independent study group will continue to monitor the waters for any unusual activity during the weekend.

The latest information is available at www.stpete.org/water/waterquality.php.

Sanitation Department Phones and Computers Back In Service Following Outage

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 19, 2017) – The St. Petersburg Sanitation department is back in business following an outage yesterday, January 18, that affected office phones and computers. Customers needing assistance may contact the department at 727-893-7838 or www.stpete.org/sanitation.

Warning Signs Removed; Water Quality Testing Continues

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 19, 2017) – Following recent tests on water in and around Coffee Pot Bayou which have come back within normal ranges, Public Works crews have removed the warning signs around the shoreline. The warning signs had been recently placed around Coffee Pot Bayou as tests were being conducted following the discovery of numerous sick and dying brown pelicans.

“The water quality is not in question in Coffee Pot Bayou,” stated John Palenchar, Interim Water Resources Director. “And we are working with all concerned to try and find out what made the birds sick.”

A total of 17 pelicans have been sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) Wildlife Lab in Gainesville for necropsy. Samples taken during necropsy will be sent to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) in Georgia for further testing and additional samples will be sent to FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg to be tested for algal toxins. Busch Gardens is sending blood, fecal, and tissue samples to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to be tested for algal toxins. Toxin analysis to determine if this is potentially related to red tide will be available 2-3 days after samples are received. Results from samples submitted to SCWDS will take longer, possibly weeks.

Today, biological testing experts from Arcadis are taking further samples for their independent testing.

“There is no pre-conceived notion as to what may be going on out here,” said Scott Lehman, Arcadis Senior Asset Consultant.  “Our intent is to be that third party review to see if we find anything independent of what the city is finding.”

So far, Palenchar says the city has found that the water quality is “well within the parameters for recreational usage.”

The test results from the independent consultant Arcadis will likely be ready by early next week.

For updates, visit www.stpete.org/water/waterquality.php or follow us @StPetePW.


City Continues Water Testing Regarding Bird Deaths Alongside FWC Investigation

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 18, 2017) – St. Petersburg Public Works employees have collected 15 dead or dying pelicans since January 12.  They’ve also stepped up to assist in the investigation as what’s making the birds so sick, working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, local rescue groups and learning institutions.

Since Stormwater, Pavement, and Traffic Operations Director John Norris and his crews responded to fish kill in a retention pond earlier this month near Riviera Bay, St. Petersburg Public Works staffers have assisted with everything from gathering water samples to sign placement – warning residents and recreational water users of the enhanced testing.

“The good news is that the water is in good shape,” said John Palenchar, Interim Water Resources Director.  “We are continuing with follow-up sampling and data sharing with FWC and our environmental consultant.”

A reminder from the FWC:  Citizens observing sick or dead birds or other wildlife are encouraged to make an online bird mortality report or to call FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline at 1-800-636-0511.

The City of St. Petersburg is continually updating our water quality samples and posting the information through the “Recreational Water Quality” tab at www.stpete.org/waterquality.php.

Further findings will be updated as they become available both at www.stpete.org and through @StPetePW.


Temporary Outage Affects Sanitation Department Phones and Computers

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 18, 2017) – The St. Petersburg Sanitation department is currently working to fix an outage affecting phones and computers. Customers needing to report URGENT issues regarding trash or recycling collection should call the Mayor’s Action Center, 893-7111, or www.stpete.org/actioncenter.


Riviera Bay, Coffee Pot Bayou Water Test Results Near Normal; Bird Testing Continues

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 17, 2017) – Initial test results from water samples taken from waters in and around Coffee Pot Bayou and Riviera Bay have shown no abnormalities.

“From all we’ve seen, the water there is in overall good shape,” said Interim Water Resources Director John Palenchar.  “But we will continue testing, and so the signs will stay up for awhile.”

Warnings for recreational water users about the dead pelicans (first seen at a retention pond near Riviera Bay, then over the past weekend in and around Coffee Pot Bayou) were posted along the shore line from North Shore Park through Coffee Pot Bayou.  The signs informed residents about the enhanced and cooperative testing being spearheaded by the city of St. Petersburg and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC).  The City has also brought in an independent biologist to further study what’s causing the birds to be sick.

Initial water samples from the retention pond where the sick birds were first encountered showed low levels of dissolved oxygen.  Samples from nearby Riviera Bay and waters further south into Coffee Pot Bayou had normal levels of oxygen. In addition, the other tested elements fell within normal parameters for recreational waterways, with the exception of a lone site near the Coffee Pot Bayou boat ramp that showed poor water quality.  

“We will continue to work with the FWCC and our independent partners to pinpoint the problem,” said Palenchar. Palenchar added that the incident is in no way related to last summer’s heavy rains and the subsequent discharge of potentially treated sewage water.

The latest information can be found at www.stpete.org/water/waterquality.php. More information will be released when it becomes available.


St. Petersburg Brings in Additional Assistance to Investigate Sick Pelicans –Update #1

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 17, 2017) – In an effort to expedite and enhance current testing and investigation into a troubling discovery of sick birds near local waterways, the city of St. Petersburg is calling in an independent ecologist to assist.

Scientists with Arcadis U.S., based in Melbourne, Florida, have joined with St. Petersburg Water Resources and investigative crews from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) to gather clues into what is causing the Pelicans’ sickness.

“We want to have experts evaluating this,” said John Palenchar, Interim Water Resources Director, “Independently tasked to find out – as soon as possible – what’s causing this.”

St. Petersburg has been dealing with this situation since last week, when a fish-kill was reported on January 12, at a stormwater retention pond in the Riviera Bay area.

“RBLake #1” is a freshwater stormwater pond with many exotic tilapia, which are susceptible to low temperature and Dissolved Oxygen (DO) issues.  Adequate dissolved oxygen is necessary for good water quality, as well as a necessary element to all forms of life. Natural stream purification processes require adequate oxygen levels in order to provide for aerobic life forms. As dissolved oxygen levels in water drop below 5.0 mg/l, aquatic life is put under stress. The lower the concentration, the greater the stress. Oxygen levels that remain below 1-2 mg/l for a few hours can result in large fish kills.

Preliminary data from that pond showed readings at approximately 0.32 mg/l, with 4,900 pounds of fish removed from Riviera Bay Lake.

FWCC have taken water and algae samples to test for quality and is also testing the birds that died to determine cause of death. 

The second location is Coffee Pot Bayou, about 3 miles south of Riviera Bay. Scientists are investigating the probability that the affected birds initially fed on fish at RB Lake#1 and flew to Coffee Pot Bayou, which is near a substantial pelican habitat.

All testing -- by the FWCC, City of St.Petersburg, and now Arcadis -- will be coordinated and used to formulate a plan to keep the birds safe, as well as to alert residents and recreational water users to any potential problems. Further details and results will be released when they become available.

City of St. Petersburg Assisting With Discovery of Dead And Sick Pelicans; Testing Water For Potential Cause

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (January 16, 2017) –
After more than one dozen pelicans have been found dead or sick in or near local waterways, the City of St. Petersburg Public Works Administration, which includes Water Resources and Stormwater departments, are working alongside the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other local partners to remove the birds and identify the cause of the illness. 

“We are testing the water for biological indicators and dissolved oxygen content and expect results on Tuesday. Per Mayor Rick Kriseman’s direction, we are also pursuing more extensive testing in order to better determine a cause prior to Florida Fish and Wildlife’s necropsy results,” said Interim Director of Water Resources John Palenchar.

A cold-weather fish kill near Riviera Bay Lake last week was also accompanied by reports of sick pelicans. John Norris, Director for Stormwater, Pavement and Traffic Operations for the city said that more than one ton of fish were removed from the lake by his crew. “We have not yet determined if there is a connection between the fish kill in Riviera Bay and the pelicans found sick or dead in other parts of the city,” said Norris.

The Department of Environmental Protection has also been notified, although there are no reports of a recent spill or discharge into our waterways.

In an abundance of caution, signs with the following message have been posted along waterways from St. Petersburg’s downtown to Weedon Island.

WARNING
Unknown Potential Health Risk
DO NOT PLAY SWIM OR FISH IN THIS AREA
Due to recent Bird illnesses in this vicinity, residents and cautioned to avoid contact with surface water until further notice. Water Samples are being taken and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is being apprised of the situation. FWCC can be contacted at 888-404-FWCC.  The City Water Resources Department can be contacted at 727-893-7261.


December - 2016

RECLAIMED WATER LINE BREAK AT VINOY GOLF CLUB

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (December 13, 2016)City crews have begun repairing a 20-inch diameter reclaimed water main line between the seventh and eighth hole at the Renaissance Vinoy Golf Club at 600 Snell Isle Blvd., NE. The discharge was reported to the city’s Water Resources Dispatch Office at 9:05 a.m. today and ended at 1 p.m. The estimated amount of discharge was 120,000 gallons of reclaimed water which was contained entirely in a private stormwater retention pond within the affected area of the golf course.

Repairs are expected to be completed by Friday, Dec. 16. The Golf Course will be open for play during its normal operating hours.

To report a city public works issue, please contact the Mayor’s Action Center at 727-893-7111, action@stpete.org or online at www.stpete.org.   


ENHANCED WATER TESTING SHOWS HIGHER BACTERIA LEVELS IN THREE CITY LOCATIONS

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (December 9, 2016) – In an effort to better inform and educate citizens of St. Petersburg about their valuable water resources, Public Works officials are expanding the regularly scheduled testing of area recreational waterways. As part of that enhanced weekly testing, three (3) local waterways have been found to have poor water quality due to levels of 71 or greater Enterococci per 100 milliliters of marine water. They are as follows: Salt Creek/Bartlett Park Lassing Park Fossil Park Lake It is recommended that no there be no swimming until further testing (early next week) shows a drop in the bacterial levels. Further information about the testing and potential dangers from increased Enterococci levels can be found at http://www.stpete.org/water/waterquality.php.


November - 2016

UPDATE: PRIVATE FORCE MAIN BREAK AT 2nd ST. N AND 99th AVE. N

ST. Petersburg, FL (November 12, 2016) - Contractors and city inspectors were on site today to review the appropriate repair/replacement for the 8" force main break which occurred yesterday. As the line was already scheduled to be permanently relocated to the adjacent manhole as part of a 2nd Street Bridge force main relocation project, the line will either be repaired or replaced following excavation. Work will begin Monday and is expected to be completed within the week.

Currently, wastewater is being diverted to the manhole with no further spills expected. Upon closer inspection late yesterday afternoon, it was estimated that the original spill (contained) may have been as much as 975 gallons, not 200 gallons as was originally reported. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection was notified as per protocol. There was no additional overflow and no threat to public health and public safety.

PRIVATE FORCE MAIN BREAK AT 2ND ST. S. AND 99TH AVE. N.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (November 11, 2016) – City crews were on site this afternoon to inspect an 8-inch force main break, which resulted in a leak of approximately 200 gallons of wastewater, all within a contained area. The private line comes from a nearby apartment complex and enters the city’s sewer system. The discharge has been diverted to a nearby manhole. Contractors anticipate repairs to be completed on Saturday, November 12.

There was no overflow to surface waters and there is no threat to public health and safety at this time.


MAYOR RICK KRISEMAN UNVEILS WASTEWATER IMPROVEMENT PLAN

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (November 11, 2016) – City crews were on site this afternoon to inspect an 8-inch force main break, which resulted in a leak of approximately 200 gallons of wastewater, all within a contained area. The private line comes from a nearby apartment complex and enters the city’s sewer system. The discharge has been diverted to a nearby manhole. Contractors anticipate repairs to be completed on Saturday, November 12.

There was no overflow to surface waters and there is no threat to public health and safety at this time.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (November 3, 2016) – Today, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman unveiled his Wastewater Improvement Plan. The plan will increase the capacity of existing plants, line and seal targeted pipes and manholes, engineer enough redundancy in our system to sustain operations for two weeks should one of our three plants go offline or be otherwise rendered inoperable in a crisis situation, and operate totally within the rules and guidelines of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, even during a crisis.
Additional capacity through the complete reopening of the Albert Whitted Wastewater facility or other facility expansions remains under consideration.

The plan calls for an estimated investment of $304 million on projects through 2021. Some of this money has already been budgeted; the plan will require an additional $142 million to complete the work. Short-term projects will take approximately two years, and the plan should be completed in five years. A healthy economy makes this important investment feasible, without any immediate need to reprioritize other unrelated city advances.

Said Mayor Kriseman: “Our residents and our environment have been failed by an outdated and compromised wastewater system. It is time to execute this plan so that we are well-prepared for a future of extreme rain events.”


October - 2016

MAINTENANCE OF RECLAIMED WATER SYSTEM SCHEDULED FOR EARLY THURSDAY MORNING

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (October 26, 2016) - Maintenance flushing of the city's reclaimed water system via fire hydrants will begin at 2 a.m. on Thursday, October 27, along Fifth Ave. S, and Poinsettia Ave. between 62nd St. S. and 74th St. S. Residents may notice water in the streets being directed into storm drains.

Periodic flushing of a water system using fire hydrants is a normal permitted operating procedure for both potable and reclaimed systems to help maintain water quality.

Technicians will be working to maintain adequate pressures in the entire system although customers may experience intermittent reclaimed water pressure near the affected area. A number of fire hydrants are in the service area and will be used for this operation.

 

RECLAIMED WATER LINE BREAK REPAIRED AT SOUTHWEST PLANT

CONTACT: Water Resources Department, 727-893-7261

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (October 24, 2016) - A construction crew hit a reclaimed water line at approximately 7:50 a.m. this morning at the city’s Southwest Water Reclamation Facility, 3800 54th Ave. S. An undetermined amount of reclaimed water (fully treated) leaked onto the site where it was contained. Repairs were completed by 8:45 a.m. There was no impact to any adjacent properties and no risk to public health or safety.

 

POTABLE WATER LINE BREAK NEAR ALBERT WHITTED, REPAIRS UNDERWAY

CONTACT: Water Resources Department, Dispatch, 727-893-7261

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (October 14, 2016) – Crews are on the scene near Albert Whitted Airport to repair a 4-inch potable (drinking) water line break affecting the United States Coast Guard Station. Repairs are underway and service is expected to be restored by noon today.

Sanitary sewer service and the reclaimed water system are not affected by this repair. During the investigation, and to isolate the problem, wastewater was diverted to the decommissioned Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility temporarily affecting the incoming flow at the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility. When it was determined that the break was in a potable line, wastewater flows were directed to the Southwest facility as normal. No wastewater discharge of any kind occurred as a result of this investigation.

To report a city public works issue, please contact the Mayor’s Action Center at 727-893-7111, action@stpete.org or online at www.stpete.org.

 

Update - Hurricane Matthew

Update #: 2 Event: Hurricane Matthew Date/Time: 10/7/16 9:30 am
What’s Happening:

Hurricane Matthew is currently a Category 3 storm with 120mph winds and is hugging the coast of Central Florida. Although damage has, so far, been less than anticipated, the East coast is still receiving significant impacts from the storm and will continue to receive storm impacts through tonight. Pinellas remains under a Tropical Storm Watch.

Impact on St. Petersburg:

Through the night, St. Petersburg received some recorded gusts up to 33mph. Winds have been above normal, but did not reach tropical storm strength. No damage was reported to the EOC other than a downed tree branch. The National Weather Service is forecasting less than ½ inch of rain for our area. Extremely strong rip currents are expected along the beaches of Pinellas County. St. Petersburg can expect higher than average high tide; although we do not anticipate any flooding to occur in the absence of rain.

What St. Petersburg Is Doing:
  • The EOC partially activated at 6pm yesterday and was in operation until 9am this morning. The Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor conditions until Hurricane Matthew clears the state of Florida.
  • The Citizens Information Center (Mayor’s Action Line) was staffed through the night in the EOC.
  • A shelter, located at Northside Baptist Church, 6000 38th Avenue North, was opened yesterday at 2pm for citizens. A total of 7 residence stayed through the night. The shelter will remain open until all evacuees can return safely home or until they can be relocated to another shelter. We expect that to happen this afternoon.
What To Expect:
  • We anticipate the Tropical Storm Watch for Pinellas County to be removed this afternoon.
  • Pinellas County has closed all public schools today.
  • By noon today, Pinellas County should be past the worst effects of Hurricane Matthew.

 

Update - Hurricane Matthew

Update #: 1 Event: Hurricane Matthew Date/Time: 10/7/16 9:00 am

After monitoring the storm through the night and this morning, the St. Petersburg EOC deactivated at 9a.m.

The local forecast calls for less than 1" of rain and breezy conditions. St. Petersburg had no significant damage to report.

  • One downed tree branch that briefly blocked traffic on 4th St. S at 59th Ave S.
  • Wind speeds stayed between 18-26mph overnight, with gusts reaching 33mph.
  • Seven people spent the night at the shelter within city limits at Northside Baptist Church, 6000 38th Ave N.

Strong rip currents expected for the next few days. Possibly a higher than normal high tide expected for later today, although we don't anticipate street flooding (unless we receive heavier than forecasted rainfall).

 

Update - Hurricane Matthew

Update #: 3 Event: Hurricane Matthew Date/Time: 10/6/16 2:30 pm
What’s Happening:

Hurricane Matthew is currently a Category 4 storm with 140mph winds and will reach the east coast of Florida this evening. There have been no major changes in track; the storm is expected to skirt much of Florida’s eastern seaboard.  Pinellas remains under a Tropical Storm Watch.

KEY MESSAGES:

  1. Direct hurricane impacts are expected in Florida today and tomorrow.
  2. Do not focus solely on the forecast track as the storm impacts are larger than the error cone and any movement to the west will be strong tropical storm conditions to our area.
Impact on St. Petersburg:

The National Weather Service is forecasting sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph and occasional storm bands with 40 to 55 mph wind gusts. These conditions are expected to begin early Friday morning and last a good portion of the day Friday. No evacuation is being called in Pinellas County. In an abundance of caution, three shelters will be available at 2 p.m. today should residents want to shelter there. The shelters will also be available to support residents from the east coast who are not able to find hotel accommodations.

What St. Petersburg Is Doing:
  • The EOC will partially be activated at 6pm this evening and will remain in operation until winds have subsided tomorrow afternoon.
  • The Citizens Information Center (Mayor’s Action Line) will be staffed through the night in the EOC. That number is 893-7111.
  • A shelter, located at Northside Baptist Church, 6000 38th Avenue North, was opened at 2pm for citizens who may be affected by potential strong winds.
What To Expect:
  • Pinellas County has CLOSED all public schools tomorrow, Friday.
  • The City libraries and recreation centers will be CLOSED tomorrow, Friday. Other City functions will operate business as usual.
  • No evacuation is being called in Pinellas County

Maintain situational awareness for this storm by staying connected to the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service forecasts.

http://nhc.noaa.gov
http://weather.gov/tampabay

 

Pinellas County Update - 12:51 p.m.

All Pinellas County Schools & school district offices will be CLOSED on Friday, Oct. 7.

 

Update - Hurricane Matthew

Update #: 1 Event: Hurricane Matthew Date/Time: 10/6/16 9:28am

Matthew is expected to bring high winds with gusts 40-55mph and 1" of rain. The storm will be closest to us Friday 6am-10am but we will feel the effects most of Friday.

Here's what to keep in mind:

  • Bring in outside patio/pool furniture
  • Bring in hanging/potted plants
  • Stay clear of downed power lines
  • Try to limit travel as we are expecting traffic from East coast evacuees

While this is not expected to bring heavy rainfall, remember to avoid deep water on roadways. We will continue to provide updates as necessary.

 

Storm Update - Hurricane Matthew

Update #: 2 Event: Hurricane Matthew Date/Time: 10/5/16 4:30pm
What’s Happening:

Hurricane Matthew is currently a Category 3 storm with 120mph winds and is continuing its trek towards the Florida Peninsula. The 11am NHC update showed the hurricane track just off the coast of Florida Thursday thru Friday, but new forecast models look to be predicting the storm is a little further west, possibly making landfall on Florida’s east coast tomorrow. This means tropical storm force winds would extend further west into Florida, bringing a larger effect to St. Petersburg.

KEY MESSAGES:

  1. Direct hurricane impacts are possible in Florida tomorrow. Tropical storm and hurricane watches have been issued for many counties in Florida. Currently, Pinellas County is not included in a Watch or Warning, but this could change with future advisories.
  2. Do not focus solely on the forecast track as the storm impacts are larger than the error cone and any movement to the west will be strong tropical storm conditions to our area.
Impact on St. Petersburg:

Currently no storm surge or heavy rainfall impacts to Pinellas County are forecast. Expect gusty winds regardless of the path the storm takes. On its current path we can expect 15-25 mph winds with gusts around 35. If the storm shifts left, we could receive sustained 20-30 mph winds with gusts upward of 40-55 mph.

What St. Petersburg Is Doing:
  • The EOC is set up and on standby.
  • Should the need arise, a shelter will be opened for citizens who may be affected by potential strong winds. The shelter will be located at Northside Baptist Church, 6000 38th Avenue North. The decision to open such a shelter may not come until tomorrow late morning and will be decided by Pinellas County Emergency Management.
  • Fire Rescue has contacted all special needs registrants living in mobile homes or are electrically dependent to inquire if they desire to evacuate, if recommended.
What To Do:

Maintain situational awareness throughout the week by staying connected to the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service forecasts.

http://weather.gov/tampabay
http://nhc.noaa.gov

 

Storm Update - Hurricane Matthew

Update #: 1 Event: Hurricane Matthew Date/Time: 10/4/16 2:00pm
What’s Happening:

Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti near the town of Les Anglais around 7 AM this morning as a Category 4 storm. Eastern Cuba and the Bahamas are next in line for landfall from this major hurricane. Some slight weakening could occur today while Matthew interacts with the high terrain of Cuba and Haiti, but the environment is favorable for the hurricane to maintain category 4 status for the next 2 days. Some weakening is anticipated by the next forecast period due to an increase of the wind shear. Most of the global models indicate a westward ridge, and this pattern should force the hurricane to turn toward the northwest across the Bahamas and to the waters just east of Florida. The timing of this westward turn will affect what impact the hurricane will have on Florida.

KEY MESSAGES:
  1. Direct hurricane impacts are possible in Florida later this week. Tropical storm and hurricane watches have been issued for portions of the eastern Florida peninsula and the Florida Keys.
  2. Do not focus solely on the forecast tack as the storm impacts are larger than the error cone and any movement to the west will be strong tropical storm conditions to our area.
Impact on St. Petersburg:

Currently no storm surge or heavy rainfall impacts to Pinellas County are forecast. This could change by Wednesday’s forecast especially after Matthew passes over Cuba into the Straits of Florida. The potential for tropical storm force winds to impact Pinellas County is now 32%, and may continue to fluctuate as the storm progresses northward and forecasts are updated.

What St. Petersburg Is Doing:

The Office of Emergency Management is actively monitoring the situation and is placing the City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on stand-by for a possible activation on Thursday-Friday. Decisions about any needed actions will come late Wednesday and early in the day Thursday as further forecasts are released. The Office of Emergency Management is having twice daily conference calls with the County Emergency Management Office and National Weather Service for the most updated information.

What To Do:

All departments should review their disaster preparedness plans (DOP Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7; Annexes C, E, H, K, and O). All staff should prepare/review their family preparedness plans. Maintain situational awareness throughout the week by staying connected to the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service forecasts.

http://weather.gov/tampabay
http://nhc.noaa.gov

 

Storm Update - Hurricane Matthew

Update #: 2 Event: Hurricane Matthew Date/Time: 10/3/16 2:00pm
What’s Happening:

According to the National Hurricane Center: Little overall change in intensity is expected during the next couple of days, with the exception of some weakening due to possible land interaction with Haiti and eastern Cuba. However, there could be fluctuations in intensity due to eyewall cycles that are difficult to predict. While Matthew is expected to be a little weaker once it moves into the Bahamas as the shear increases somewhat and the ocean heat content decreases a little, it is expected to remain a dangerous hurricane through the next 5 days.

Category 4 Hurricane Mathew is expected to be off Florida’s east coast by Thursday, 10/6. Florida’s east coast is currently slightly outside the five-day forecast cone, only a slight delay in the timing of the turn N or changes in steering weather patterns could put Florida in the track potential of Hurricane Matthew. Wind impacts could be felt as early as Wednesday in SE Florida. Track modeling consensus is good, but there is considerable uncertainty in the intensity forecast.

It is important to note while most of the track models currently keep Matthew east of Florida, there is still enough uncertainty that direct impacts in Florida cannot be ruled out. In addition, it is still too soon to determine whether, or how, Matthew could affect the remainder of the U.S. East Coast.

Impact on St. Petersburg:

No impacts to St. Petersburg are forecast. This could change during the week (likely between Wed & Friday), especially after Matthew passes over Cuba into the Straits of Florida. The potential for tropical storm force winds to impact Pinellas County has now increased to 16%, and may continue to increase as the storm progresses and forecasts are updated.

What St. Petersburg Is Doing:

The Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the situation but is taking no other actions at this time. The EOC is not activating. Use normal office contact numbers for EM staff.

What To Expect:

Maintain situational awareness throughout the week by staying connected to the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service forecasts. Additional information from EM will be forthcoming if changes in the storm forecasts make taking protective actions necessary.

http://weather.gov/tampabay
http://nhc.noaa.gov

 

SEWER REPAIRS TEMPORARILY AFFECT TRAFFIC

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (October 5, 2016) – Motorists need to be advised that 22nd St. N. between Fifth Ave. N. and Seventh Ave. N. is closed temporarily as Water Resources crews work to repair a 24” sanitary sewer line.

Crews are also on the scene at 26th Ave. S. and Fourth St. S. to repair an 8” sanitary sewer line. The four lane roadway is reduced to two lanes until repairs are completed.

To report a city public works issue, please contact the Mayor’s Action Center at 727-893-7111, action@stpete.org or online at www.stpete.org.


September - 2016

Pinellas: Federal assistance available to local victims of Hurricane Hermine

Eligible Pinellas County residents and business owners can receive federal assistance for damages caused by Hurricane Hermine during the period of Aug. 31 to Sept. 11.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams will be in the community over the weekend to explain the disaster relief program and encourage application. FEMA staff will be wearing FEMA staff shirts and have FEMA ID tags.

President Barack Obama signed a Florida Disaster Declaration on Sept. 28 and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Hermine.

Disaster relief is available for residential or business damages, large or small, sustained during Hurricane Hermine that are not covered by personal insurance, including:

  • Temporary Housing
  • Home Repair (including septic or sewer system, well or other water system, HVAC, Utilities)
  • Home Replacement: Under extreme conditions and as limited funding may allow.
  • Other Needs Assistance provides grants for uninsured, disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs. Flood insurance may be required on insurable items (personal property) if they are to be located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Assistance includes:
    • Medical and dental expenses.
    • Funeral and burial costs.
    • Repair, cleaning or replacement of clothing, household items (room furnishing, appliances), specialized tools or protective clothing and equipment required for the applicant’s job, necessary educational materials (computers, school books, supplies).
    • Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, air purifier, dehumidifier).
    • Fuel for primary heat source (heating oil, gas).
    • Repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by the disaster, or providing for public transportation or other transportation costs.
    • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster (including storage or the return of property to a pre-disaster home).
    • Other necessary expenses or serious needs (for example: towing, or setup or connecting essential utilities for a housing unit not provided by FEMA).
    • The cost of a National Flood Insurance Program group flood insurance policy to meet the flood insurance requirements.

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal and eligible local governments as well as certain private, nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Hermine. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Individuals making claims must first register their loss with FEMA via any of the following methods:

  • Apply online to www.disasterassistance.gov;
  • Contact FEMA by smart phone or tablet using the FEMA app or going to https://www.fema.gov/ or;
  • Call the FEMA toll-free number 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Telephone lines are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

A Disaster Recovery Center will be established in the coming days for in-person applications and to provide additional information to those wishing to apply. Location and hours of operation information will be released as soon as it is made available.

More information is available online at www.fema.gov/recovery-directorate/assistanceindividuals-and-households.

Low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are also available to help with residential or business losses not covered by insurance. Information on SBA disaster loans may be obtained by calling (800) 659-2955 and (800) 877-8339 (TTY), or by going online to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

The Small Business Administration filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 28, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 28, 2017.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.

The Pinellas County “Doing Things for You” app is available for residents to report issues and access useful resources. Pinellas County can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. More information is available on the county website, pinellascounty.org, which features LiveChat for assistance. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

Update on Hurricane Matthew

The City of St. Petersburg is monitoring Hurricane Matthew. Currently there are no storm impacts forecast for our area and the City’s Emergency Operations Center is not activating. Changes in storm forecasts could make protective actions necessary early next week, so the Office of Emergency Management will monitor the storm’s progress closely this weekend and will provide updates as needed. It is important for residents to maintain situational awareness over the weekend by staying connected to the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service forecasts.

http://weather.gov/tampabay
http://nhc.noaa.gov

 

Waterline Break Near Gandy Blvd.

CONTACT: Water Resources Dispatch, 893-7261

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WATER LINE BREAK IN THE VICINITY OF GANDY BLVD. AND 94TH AVE. N

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (September 28, 2016) - City water crews are on the scene of a possible water main break on the northwest corner of Gandy Blvd. and 94th Ave. N. No customers are affected at this time. There may be minimal disruptions in the area (after hours) as workers isolate the break and do the necessary repairs. The line is currently under pressure and is being directed into the city's storm drain system. Water quality will not be affected. Traffic disruptions are not anticipated. Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of the week depending on the extent of the break.

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