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Emergency management officials open shelter as Isaias creeps along Florida seaboard with strong winds, rains

Brevard County Emergency Operations officials are opening one shelter with room for 150 residents, including accommodations for those with the coronavirus, as a weakened Tropical Storm Isaias continues its trek just off Florida’s eastern seaboard.

The single shelter will be at the Viera Regional Community Center and opens at 11 a.m. Sunday. The facility will accept pets and will have the Red Cross provide food.

“We’ll be following CDC guidelines with social distancing. We’ll also be doing health screenings and temperature checks,” said Don Walker, spokesperson for Brevard County Emergency Management.

Live coverage: Tracking Isaias: Latest updates about the tropical storm in Brevard

“We have an isolation room that we’ve designated at the center for those who have COVID. That room can hold 50 people.”

Those utilizing the shelter should bring any special foods, snacks, blankets, medicines needed for the stay. Brevard should begin seeing more impact from the storm after 2 p.m. and through the overnight hours, officials said.

Typically during a hurricane, the county will open dozens of shelters. Right now, county officials, who are in talks with state emergency management and the National Weather Service, see Isaias as rain and wind event that will likely have more impact on the barrier islands.

“We’re still anticipating rain of about 3 to 4 inches and also some possible flooding with winds. We wanted to have a shelter open in an abundance of caution for those who might feel uncomfortable about the weather,” Walker said.

No evacuations have been ordered.

Isaias, located about 40 miles southwest of Palm Beach County as if 8 a.m. Sunday was weakened overnight by wind shear as it continued on its trek toward Florida’s eastern seaboard. 

Sunday, the county’s fire and police departments were on alert for traffic or other safety issues.

The tropical storm is still a threat and has sustained winds of 65 mph.

Rain bands will continue to move across Central Florida throughout the day as the storm nears the Space Coast. The major thrust of the storm could arrive later this afternoon as wind speeds and rains begin picking up. 

The storm is expected to bring heavy rains of up to two to four inches and more in some areas. 

Tracking Isaias: Latest updates and live coverage about the tropical storm in Brevard

Check back throughout the day for more updates.

J.D. Gallop is a Criminal Justice/Breaking News Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallop at 321-917-4641 or [email protected] Twitter: @JDGallop. To subscribe: https://cm.floridatoday.com/specialoffer/

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