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Palm Beach County Lifts Evacuation Orders, FPL Working To Fix Power Outages

Associated Press
Kristen Davis watches the high surf from a boardwalk overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with her daughter Addie Davis 4, as winds from Hurricane Dorian blow the fronds of a palm tree palm tree, in Vero Beach, Fla., Monday, Sept. 2, 2019.

Last updated on Sept. 3, 4:38 p.m. 

Palm Beach County has lifted the mandatory evacuation orders for Zones A and B, effective Tuesday at 4 p.m. 

County authorities also indicated that shelters will close tomorrow at 9 a.m. Also county offices will be closed tomorrow but are expected to be back in business on Thursday, Sept. 5. 

Palm Tran will resume service at 4:30 a.m. of Wednesday, Sept. 4. 

Palm Beach County schools will reopen Thursday, September 5th.
The district has cancelled all athletic contests for the remainder of the week. It will reschedule games and matches that were called off due to the storm.
Palm Beach County's Emergency Operations Center will be downgraded to a level 2 starting at 7 p.m. of Tuesday and will remain at that at least until Wednesday.  

Reporting by Madeline Fox. 

Monitoring Price Gouging

The Florida Attorney General's Office is investigating instances of price gouging across the state as Hurricane Dorian continues to hug the east coast.

As of Tuesday afternoon the consumer protection division announced it's looking into more than 2,400 reports of price gouging. Most reports are about water and fuel, but the office said it's starting to get some reports about hotels. Some of those reports are coming from South Florida. Several gas stations in Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale are being investigated for selling gas for more than the listed price.

The Attorney General is also investigating reports that a Shell station in Broward County, on Oakland Park Boulevard, has been selling cases of water for more than twice the list price.

Attorney General Ashley Moody posted a video on her twitter account earlier this week [Monday] about the issue.

"For the most part, businesses across the state are helping Floridians, helping make sure they have the supplies they need. But when there are bad actors, we're responding and we'll hold businesses accountable," Moody said. "They need to know that."

Reporting by Caitie Switalski.

Flooding In Key West
Credit Key West Police Department
Key West Police Department
Heavy rains as Dorian's outer bands "pivoted" across the Keys Tuesday plus king tides caused flooding in Key West.

The Keys were lashed with heavy rains Tuesday as Dorian's outer bands pivoted across the island chain.

Combined with higher-than-normal tides and saturated drain systems, that led to some local flooding.

Key West Police cautioned drivers against driving through saltwater and asked drivers who had to be on the streets to go slow so they would not create a wake, pushing the stormwater into buildings.

Reporting by Nancy Klingener.

FPL Working To Restore Power

Florida Power and Light says it’s had to restore power to about 60,000 customers after storm-related outages.

FPL spokesman Dave Reuter said trees and debris downed a number of power lines – and could hit even more.

"We are still not in the clear," he said. "We remind customers to be ready for the possibility of more outages, and possibly extended outages or even more than one outage."

More than 1,000 customers in Palm Beach County had outages as of 2 p.m. Tuesday. About 1,200 lacked power in Broward, and 780 were without it in Miami-Dade. FPL is regularly updating its outage numbers at fpl.com/powertracker.

The coastal areas have seen the most storm impact. High tides and more winds Tuesday afternoon could take out power for more FPL customers.

Reporting by Madeline Fox

Port Everglades Waives Tariffs For Humanitarian Aid

Shipping lines transporting humanitarian relief supplies to the Bahamas will not have to pay tariff charges at Broward County's Port Everglades, according to an announcement by port authorities. 

Under Port Everglades Tariff Item No. 950, the Port Everglades Chief Executive may waive the port tariff charges for shippers who are transporting donated supplies or resources from governmental or charitable organizations up to $10,000. The county's Board of Commissioners will have to approver waivers that exceed that amount. 

“We received requests from several ship operators to begin transporting goods to the Bahamas before Hurricane Dorian had even passed the islands,” said Port Everglades Acting Chief Executive & Port Director Glenn Wiltshire. “The tariff waiver is a direct incentive to ocean carriers and companies supplying construction supplies, food and medicine to help the Bahamian people rebuild.”

Surf's Up in Miami Beach

Credit Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN News
Susan Loveland (left) and her son, Danny Catania, at South Point beach.

Surfers took to the water at South Point, in Miami Beach, on Tuesday morning.  Among them were Susan Loveland and her son, Danny Catania. 

Credit Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN News
Chloe Edinger was among the surfers at South Point, in Miami Beach.

Catania said he likes to go out and surf “whenever there are waves ... storms and cold fronts.” He said he was disappointed that waves weren't bigger this time. 

His mother, on the other hand, said she was enjoying the day. An self described "amateur body surfer," she said she liked the conditions in the water and had enjoyed watching Catania practice his sport. 

Only surfers were allowed in the water, though. When a group of swimmers tried to go in, the lifeguard on duty told them: “It’s a surfing beach right now, not swimming.” 

Credit Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN News
Only surfers were allowed in the water at South Point beach, in Miami Beach.

Reporting by Alicia Zuckerman. 


Palm Beach Residents Asked To Say Off Roads

Palm Beach County officials are warning residents to stay alert on wind and rain conditions from the slow-moving Hurricane Dorian.

Deputy County Administrator Jon Van Arnam said people should stay put – at least through Tuesday evening.

"We’re asking people to not be on the roads, to stay on the shelters if they’re in the shelters, to stay at home if you’re at home," he said.

He added that Palm Beach county could see strong winds from noon to about 8 p.m. Tuesday. The county is still under a tropical storm warning.

Additionally, there’s also a high tide coming in around noon. That could put coastal areas at risk of storm surge if the hurricane pushes more water toward Florida.

Palm Beach International airport will not reopen Tuesday afternoon as originally planned.
PBI spokeswoman Lacy Larson said in an email that that decision was made at a briefing with the Federal Aviation Administration.
"Safe operations is the top priority of PBI and our partner agencies and it is our goal to resume operations as soon as possible," she said in the email. 
Reporting by Madeline Fox. 

Broward Schools Will Reopen

Students in Broward County will be back in the classroom starting Wednesday.

Credit Caitie Switalski / WLRN News
Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen (center) with Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

Superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters at a news conference in Plantation Tuesday, that Broward County Public Schools will return to normal for the rest of this week, after having closed for Hurricane Dorian.

"Everything is going to operate at normal hours - we'll have normal school hours, normal district hours. All student activities, all events would be on the normal schedule for tomorrow," Runcie said.

Schools are often used as shelter sites during storms. Three schools had been opened on Monday to serve as general population shelters overnight. Those will close Tuesday afternoon.

Runcie said he expects students will brainstorm ways to help people affected by the storm in the Bahamas:

"I've always been, you know, amazed and inspired by our students in Broward County who take it upon themselves to organize relief efforts across our schools," he said. "So I expect to see some of that occurring."

Broward's Mayor said the county will also contribute in some way to relief efforts, but it's too soon to know if they will send people or supplies.

Reporting by Caitie Switalski

Grocery Stores To Reopen Wednesday

All Publix locations in Palm Beach County will open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, according to an announcement from the company.