Alexa Davies permalink
Cedar Key has a centrally-located siren that will sound if an emergency situation arises.
Alexa Davies permalink
Shawn Stephenson, owner of Southern Cross Sea Farms, discusses the area's clams heading into of hurricane season.
Cedar Key is a city long vulnerable to bad weather because of its coastal location.
Low-lying areas in the town can have flooding, with docks and other structures or buildings possibly experiencing damage. City Commissioner Pat O’Neal, who was also an emergency management director, said the city has made preparations and everything is ready in case the storm becomes serious.
O’Neal noted it has been a while since Cedar Key was hit by a bad storm.
“Cedar key gets a storm about once every 19 years. We’re now coming up on 28,” he said, pausing and chuckling. “Statistically, it could happen, but you sit there and say ‘I hope it doesn’t happen.”
Structures in the water such as floating docks could be destroyed or float away after being hit by rough seas. These types of structures have to be moved from high impact areas or tied down.
Three storm surge poles in the city are useful to tell how high the tide is and if it has risen. They’re large poles with numbers at different intervals, similar to a ruler.
“What they are is a visual representation of where the water level would be on a tide or a storm surge or anything like that,” O’Neal said.
As hurricane season gets underway, Cedar Key’s clam shop owners are preparing for the worst.
Shawn Stephenson is co-owner of Southern Cross Sea Farms, a clam wholesaler in Cedar Key. He’s already doing things differently by not planting fresh clams that could get washed away. The smaller storms do not worry Stephenson, as those actually help keep clams healthy.
“We’re kind of at the mercy of Mother Nature,” he said. “It’s not as if we can bring them up real quick and bring them to a protected pond or something like that. That would not be feasible.”
Flooding from heavy rains in Levy County has left both coastal and inland areas overrun with standing water. While normal summer weather patterns are expected to return later this week, a boil water notice was put into effect.
Fifteen inches of rain fell over 48 hours throughout the weekend, said Maj. Scott Harden of the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. According to Harden, 200 homes and 50 streets and roads have flooded.
Water, not wind, leads to more fatalities during hurricanes. Due to this, National Hurricane Center has decided to upgrade its technology to determine where and when water might be life-threatening during a hurricane.
The season may be half over, but the chances for a tropical storm or hurricane to hit Florida are not on the decline…yet. In what appears to be a relatively quiet hurricane season so far, history says Floridians should not let their guard down.
Thunderstorms redeveloped very close to the center of Invest 93 last night, but this trend did not continue through the morning hours. Wind shear and dry air continue to stunt the growth or intensification of this wave of low pressure. […]