|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Tourists Told to Leave Florida KeysAired August 23, 2000 - 2:48 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: One forecast model has Debby passing over South Florida and the Florida Keys, and earlier today officials reopened U.S. 1, the main evacuation route from the Keys after a truck wreck shut it down yesterday.
Joining us now by phone with more on storm preparations there is Greg Artman. He's the spokesperson for the Keys Emergency Operation Center.
GREG ARTMAN, SPOKESPERSON, KEYS EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER: Hi there.
PHILLIPS: Why don't you give us an idea of how many residents and non-residents there are in the area right now and who you are trying to evacuate first.
ARTMAN: Well, there are approximately 80,000 permanent residents in the Florida Keys. We really don't know exactly how many tourists and non-residents we have at any given point. But we are asking them, the tourists and non-residents, to leave the Keys immediately to escape any potential from this tropical storm or hurricane, whichever way it reaches us.
We've closed our state parks and campgrounds. We've asked people with recreational vehicles and other high-profile vehicles to leave the Keys immediately, and also people who have boats on trailers to also leave.
PHILLIPS: Now, I've driven the U.S. 1. I've gone to the Keys from Miami and vice versa, and that is not an easy route. I can just imagine all the people bombarding the area. How are you going to keep things running smoothly and quickly? Can you do that?
ARTMAN: It's pretty difficult. As you say, there's only one way in and one way out, but this is part of our phased evacuation plan should a general evacuation become necessary. In other words, we get the tourists and non-visitors out of the Keys first so the roadway is more clear in the event that we order any type of evacuation. And also, if we do order an evacuation, it'll be done in stages, such as lower Keys, middle Keys, upper Florida Keys. At any given time, those areas will go at different times so we can phase it out so that it really will not be quite so crowded. PHILLIPS: So no stages have begun thus far?
ARTMAN: No. The only thing we've ordered are the tourists and non-residents to leave the Florida Keys.
PHILLIPS: OK. What else is going on? What else have you done to prepare?
ARTMAN: That's just basically it. We're watching the storm. Obviously, as you said earlier, it's starting to go across a land mass. It's breaking up. It's been downgraded to tropical storm status. We're hoping it continues on that westerly course and stays within the land mass and breaks up so the impact will be quite less on us.
PHILLIPS: All right. Spokesperson for the Keys Emergency Operation Center, Greg Artman, thanks for being with us. And we will continue to follow more on this storm.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.