Photo: NASA /OrbImage
Colonel Chris Knight, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), has placed the agency's 1800 plus members on high alert in order to meet the current demands placed on Florida's largest statewide law enforcement agency. The FHP has several Quick Response Teams (QRT) ready to mobilize and respond to any area adversely affected by the powerful hurricane.
The FHP is urging the public not to wander out after the storm has passed. History shows that many injuries and deaths occur in the aftermath of storms. Sightseers also impede the roadways causing obstacles and/or obstructions for emergency personnel responding to those in need.
Driving in windy conditions: Windy conditions adversely affect all vehicles; in windy conditions, your best course of action is to slow down. Speed and wind make for a very dangerous driving situation. Strong gusts can blow a car, cyclist or motorcyclist off course. Gusty wind can be one of the trickier driving conditions, especially when it is rapidly changing direction and intensity. Turn on and listen for weather information for the area that you are in or driving to.
Driving through standing water: Frances could produce copious amounts of rainfall as the hurricane traverses the state this weekend. Flood watches and inland hurricane and tropical storm wind watches and warnings have been issued for large portions of the state's peninsula. NEVER go through flooded areas. Don't take risks. Even if you are familiar with the roads, it could turn out to be hazardous. The flooded area may contain dangers such as debris, tree branches, or power lines that are not visible.
Inoperative/Missing traffic lights or signs: Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal, every driver approaching an intersection should come to a complete stop before entering the intersection. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
For Information on Hurricane Frances, call the Florida Emergency Information Line at 1-800-342-3557 or visit www.FloridaDisaster.org