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Pinellas County Government Emergency Management
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Updated Information as of 9/14/17 at 5 p.m. 

Updated Hurricane Irma Information

Clearwater, Fla. – For Hurricane Irma-related storm questions, call Utility Customer Service at (727) 562-4600. 

Traffic Safety

  • Clearwater Police would like to remind motorists of traffic laws when it comes to traffic lights not functioning.
    • If you approach an intersection and the traffic signal is not working, treat that as a 4-way stop
    • When approaching flashing “yellow” lights, reduce speed and proceed with caution

     

    City Offices

  • City offices and facilities are opened today.
  • Clearwater Beach lifeguards will begin patrolling the beach again today.
  • Pier 60 will remain closed due to some minor damage through Monday at 5 a.m.
  • As for libraries, the Main Library and North Greenwood are up and running, and business is as usual, as of 9/12. Countryside Library opened 9/12 .The East branch reopened 9/14, but they are without phone service. The Beach branch has power now and will reopen Friday 9/15.
  • Parks and Recreation staff is asking people to refrain from using city Parks until staff has a chance to inspect them and determine they are safe.
  • The phone system and staff network are back up and running at the Countryside Library.
  • The Public Works Complex still has no power or phone service. Buildings B and E (Stormwater and Traffic) are running on backup generators. All other buildings at the complex are dark. Public Utilities and Streets & Sidewalks are using Building B to recharge their communication radios. Their Intranet is working; Internet is not. Email on phones is either very slow or not working.
  • Please call or text Public Utilities management with any citizens’ road and drainage issues to their city cellphones. (All stormwater maintenance mobile phones have the text archive system activated.)
  • Recreation center updates:
    • The Long Center and Aging Well Center have been open since 9/13.
    • The North Greenwood Recreation Center opened 9/14 at 8 a.m.
    • The Countryside Recreation Center opened 9/14 at 5 a.m.
    • The Ross Norton Rec Center remains closed at this time.
    • Power has been restored to the Beach Rec Center. It will reopen Friday 9/15.
    • The Morningside Pool will reopen Saturday 9/16.
    • The Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex is closed at this time.

     

    Fire Safety

  • It is best to use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Residents need to use caution when using a generator. Some tips to prevent a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning:
    • NEVER run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors
    • Don’t run a portable generator in the rain
    • Before refueling, turn off a gasoline-powered generator and let it cool
    • Stock up on extra gasoline and store it properly
    • Avoid electrical hazards. If you must use an extension cord, it should be a heavy-duty one for outdoor use
    • Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include a flushed face, difficulty breathing, a rapid pulse and even headaches. If you experience these symptoms seek fresh air immediately and call 9-1-1.
  • If you have no power, please make sure you turn off your appliances. Power can return unexpectedly and items placed on stovetops, for example, can catch fire.
  • Please use extreme caution when using candles. Pets and children can knock over candles. Battery operated flashlights and lanterns are safer.
  • Steer clear of any downed wires. It's impossible to tell whether they are energized. Please report to the power company.
  • Don't touch metal fences. Downed power lines can energize fences and make them dangerous.

     

    Trash, Recycling and Debris Pick Up

  • Solid Waste will pick up trash and recycling as they can on people’s regular pick-up day. Black and blue barrel trash and recycling collections will be collected on time. This does not include yard waste.
  • Yard waste and hurricane debris collection is taking longer than expected. Yard waste includes tree limbs, branches, brush, broken fences, playground equipment, old appliances, etc. Solid Waste crews are working around-the-clock to clear yard waste as quickly as they can. Crews have started collecting yard waste/hurricane debris in the northern-most area of Clearwater around Curlew and are working their way south; this is the “Monday” route, and they are still working on it as of 9/13. Crews will not leave the “Monday zone” until everyone has been serviced. That could take up to one week. After that, they will begin clearing yard waste/hurricane debris for those whose collection day is Tuesday. That, too, will take longer than expected and definitely more than one business day to collect. The time to clear the city one full time of yard waste/hurricane debris collection is estimated to take anywhere from three to four weeks. Solid Waste is bringing in a debris contractor to help us out during this time, which will likely speed up the collection process. Yard/hurricane debris questions can go to Solid Waste Operations at 562-4920.
  • Storm debris can be taken to the Pinellas County Landfill Facility, 3095 114th Avenue North in St. Petersburg. It is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The phone number for the Pinellas County Landfill Facility is (727) 464-7500. There is a charge for landscape and other material.  $10 per truck load unless you get weighed, then the fee is based upon the pound.
  • City officials are asking people to please not put debris into the roadways. Residents should stack the debris along the curb, away from storm sewers and solid waste will pick it up as soon as they are able. We are currently having issues with residents putting debris back in the streets as soon as we are clearing the roads. When residents pile up debris for trash collection, please do not pile it up by fire hydrants.
  • Residents who are scheduled for a Tuesday pick up should plan to have their trash and recycling out for pick up on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday pick-up services will be on their regular schedule.
  • For trees down in city right of ways, citizens should call (727) 562-4800 or email Michele.stewart@myclearwater.com.

     

    Water Services

  • The water is safe to drink.
  • Two of the city’s water plants – Reverse-Osmosis Plant #1 and Water Plant #3 - are back up and running. Clearwater is producing 40% of our own water and is using 60% county water.
  • The city’s reclaimed water service is NOT on. We are in the process of restoring the system, and we will let you know when the system is up and running.
  • People should minimize any water usage that goes into the drain or toilet. This will help minimize stress on the sewer system.
  • A lot of the city’s lift stations are down due to the Duke Energy power outages. If you notice a lift station that is not functioning problem, please call the 24-hour dispatch at 462-6633.

     

  • Please do not flush personal wipes or other hygiene products down the toilet.
  • There is a boil-water notice that affects 6 or 7 homes on Gilbert Street.
  • Clearwater Public Utilities reported a spill of approximately 338,000 gallons of secondary treated effluent at the Marshall Street Water Reclamation Facility, that flowed into Stevenson Creek. This took place 9/12 from 10:30-11:45 p.m.

 

Health & Safety

  • Tips to void heat illness, from the Centers for Disease Control:
  • If a friend or neighbor has power, ask to stay in their air-conditioned home as much as possible, especially in the heat of the day.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source when it’s really hot outside.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink; if your doctor limits the amount of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink during hot weather.
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to cook; it will make your house hotter.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Limit physical activity or exposure to the outdoors, and get plenty of rest.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.

 

Hiring of Contractors

  • City of Clearwater would like to remind residents that anyone providing contracting services, under this state of emergency, must be currently licensed through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Failure to comply with appropriate licensing requirements would be a FELONY under Florida State Statute 489.127. As always, citizens should use due diligence when selecting a contractor. Be cautious of contractors who have estimates that are much less than others.
  • In Pinellas County, contractors must also be registered by the Pinellas County Contractors Licensing Board.  There is a list of licensed contractors available on their website, pcclb.com.

     

    Price Gouging

  • Residents should be mindful of businesses or individuals engaging in price gouging. Reports should be made by contacting the Attorney General's hotline at (866) 966-7226. The State of Florida's price gouging law prohibits extreme consumer cost increases in essential commodities such as food, fuel, ice, hotels, lumber, and water. Unlicensed contractors also face additional charges, and protections remain in effect for the duration of the declared emergency.

 

Damage to Homes/Housing

  • There may be funding available to low- to moderate-income households for costs associated with Hurricane Irma that are not covered by insurance.  Income qualifications apply.  Qualifying expenditures include the purchase of emergency supplies to waterproof damaged homes; interim repairs to avoid further damage, such as tree and debris removal; and payment of insurance deductibles for rehabilitation of homes covered under homeowners’ insurance policies.  For more information, call (727) 562-4056.  

 

Post-Storm Business Resources

  • If your business sustained damage during Hurricane Irma, visit Florida's Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center. This is the primary portal for private sector damage assessments and recovery. Start by filling out the damage assessment forms and that information will begin the recovery process.
  • Also available are low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. The loans can be used for loss and damages not fully covered by insurance. Applicants can apply online via SBA's secure website here.
  • Businesses that suffered physical damage and need cash flow assistance while waiting for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s assistance can also contact Pinellas County Economic Development about applying for Florida's emergency bridge loan program. Businesses can contact the Pinellas County Small Business Development Center at 727-453-7200 for more information.

     

    Used & Unused Sandbags

  • Clearwater will not collect used sandbags.
  • If the bags did not come in contact with floodwaters, the sand and sandbags may be stored and reused for future storm events.
  • If residents do not have a storage location, the sand may be spread in a garden or landscaped area of the yard. Do not use the sand for children's sandboxes or play areas.
  • Empty sandbags may be placed in the household garbage.
  • Sand and sand bags that have been in contact with floodwaters may be contaminated with sewage or septic waste, animal waste, oil, gasoline residue, lawn chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, or other chemicals. Caution should be used to avoid direct human contact when handling sand or sand bags, such as wearing gloves and a dust mask if there is loose or blowing material. Do not place used sand in or near bodies of water, playgrounds, sandboxes or other areas of direct human contact.
  • Sand bags that have been in contact with floodwater should be disposed of at Pinellas County Solid Waste Landfill ($37.50/ton or flat rate for qualifying vehicles).
  • Pinellas County has detailed disposal information on sandbags: www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/sandbags.htm or www.pinellascounty.org/solidwaste/getridofit/default.htm

 

Federal Assistance

  • Due to Pinellas County Schools being closed until Monday, Sept. 18, North Greenwood Recreation Center and Countryside Recreation Center will be hosting Day Out Camps for students not in school from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The cost is $20 with a recreation card and $22 without (scholarships are available). For more information, call (727) 462-6276 for North Greenwood and (727) 669-1914 for Countryside.  

 

City Network Issues

  • IT is working to restore systems and servers that are not working due to an internet outage with the city’s internet service provider. This includes some programs on the city’s website and Intranet. They are working on the issue and expect it to be resolved 9/15.
  • The city is experiencing intermittent issues with outbound dialing. Inbound phone service is unaffected.

 

Miscellaneous

  • Fallen trees on private property. Trees that have fallen on private property are the responsibility of the private property owner.  We encourage them to contact a ISA certified arborist for inspection and removal. 
  • Bees. There are also specific companies that deal with bee removal that these customers can also contact.
  • In the spirit of assisting those in need, the Society of St. Vincent De Paul is offering a free meal at their  soup kitchen located at 1345 Park St, Clearwater (Gateway area off of Cleveland Street) on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 13 and 14, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 2:30 PM. This offer is open to all city employees regardless of how the storm may have  impacted them.
  • In case people want to know to whom they can donate to help post-Hurricane Irma, contact St. Vincent de Paul of St. Petersburg. Website is https://swp.paymentsgateway.net/co/default.aspx?pg_api_login_id=M4ekkW7ZRW.
  • Residents who are still without power are welcome to come to any Clearwater Library branch that is open to charge their mobile devices and enjoy the air conditioning.

 

Cancelled Events

  • Rock the Ribbon
  • Tunnel to Towers 5K
  • Sammy Hagar
  • The Pierce Street Market will still be taking place.

Clearwater Trash, Debris and Employee Schedules 

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Due to the Hurricane Irma impacts, the city of Clearwater has the following information for employees, residents and visitors.

  • All city facilities (recreation centers, libraries, city office buildings, etc.) will be open tomorrow, Sept. 12, 2017
  • Those who are normally scheduled for Monday's trash and recycling pick up will have their trash and recycling picked up Tuesday, Sept. 12. Those scheduled for a Tuesday pick up should plan to have their trash and recycling out for pick up on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday pick-up services will be on their regular schedule.
  • City officials are asking people to please not put debris into the roadways. Residents should stack the debris along the curb, away from storm sewers and solid waste will pick it up as soon as they are able. We are currently having issues with residents putting debris back in the streets as soon as we are clearing the roads.
  • Reclaimed water service has been turned off.
  • The bridges will be open when Law Enforcement decides it is safe to re-enter the beaches. The beach re-entry passes will not be required to go back to Clearwater Beach.
  • Due to power issues at lift stations, residents should reduce water usage. Residents should not do laundry or run their dishwashers and should try to reduce the impact on the sewer system.

 

 

City Employee Information for Hurricane Irma

The following information is for city employees. This information has been updated as of 9/11/17 at 1 p.m.

In response to Hurricane Irma, the following actions will take place:

 

  • All city facilities will be open on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

  • All employees are expected to be at work for their normal schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 12. If this is a problem for you, you need to contact your supervisor as soon as possible. 

  • The Employee Health Center is closed until further notice.

  • City Employee Phone Tree: Non-essential employees should call 727-562-4100 to find out the city’s current operation level and listen to the phone tree to find out department-specific information on when to report to work. 

  • We will continue to update this page with information for employees.

 

Hurricane Graphic

National Weather Service