Bay County EOC Leaders Ready for Tropical Storm Karen - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay County EOC Leaders Ready for Tropical Storm Karen

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Bay County leaders said they're ready for whatever weather conditions may move our way this weekend.

As of Thursday evening, the Emergency Operations Center is operating at a level two, which means they're "monitoring" the storm.

EOC Director Mark Bowen spoke with the media Thursday afternoon. At that time, he didn't have too many details and expects to have a further update when the track and intensity of storm is more clear.

However, Bowen said he and his team aren't wasting any time. They're taking the standard precautionary measures for any tropical weather including checking the county's infrastructure and stormwater systems.

Bay County has received close to three feet of rain in the past three or four months. That's created flooding issues throughout the county, including Deerpoint lake.

Bay County Spokeswoman Valerie Sale said Deerpoint Lake's water levels are at four feet. The gates are open at about 50-percent to help maintain that level. Sale said it's tough to maintain the lake's level, especially with the possibility and uncertainty of a storm surge.

While the county is getting ready for tropical weather, Bowen said residents need to prepare, too.

"What people need to spend time doing today [Thursday] is making sure they've got their fuel tanks full on their vehicles, getting some cash in their pocket, making sure that they've got a communication plan in place."

Also, Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt said, as of Thursday afternoon, there are no plans to cancel or close any schools. The District is monitoring the storm closely and will make changes if necessary.

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