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Broward County Hurricane Flotilla Plan in Effect
Boaters Prepare for Tropical Storm Ernesto

Posted Monday, August 28, 2006

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FORT LAUDERDALE (August 28, 2006) – With Tropical Storm Ernesto slated to strengthen and make landfall on South Florida in the next 36 hours, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and City of Fort Lauderdale Police Marine Unit, in conjunction with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, have implemented the Broward Hurricane Flotilla Plan as of 2:00 p.m. today.

The Hurricane Flotilla Plan allows boaters seeking safe havens before a hurricane to form groups called flotillas. These flotillas are assembled in the Intracoastal Waterway by the Fort Lauderdale Marine Unit and are escorted up the New River by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, who radios ahead for bridge openings.

Because all drawbridges are authorized to lock down eight hours before gale force winds – classified as 39mph/34 knots – it is important for boaters to relocate their vessels as soon and as swiftly as possible. By limiting bridge openings to times when the greatest number of boats that require openings are present, the Plan streamlines and expedites the evacuation process both for boaters and for residents evacuating by land.

The flotillas continue until the arrival of gale force winds is predicted by the United States Coast Guard Captain of the Port.

For Flotilla Plan information, contact the Broward Sheriff’s Office at (954) 938-0650. In a hurricane emergency, contact the Flotilla Plan Command Post at (954) 828-5440.

Boaters in Dade County should check with Miami River Marine Group Executive Director Fran Bohnsack at (305) 637-7977 as to Miami-Dade bridge procedures.

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