IRMA: Getting back to normal in Tampa Bay after storm

Last Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2017, 3:43 PM EDT

The Tampa Bay area is beginning to recover from Hurricane Irma. From power outages and boil water notices, to announcements from officials, here are timestamped updates throughout the day as we work to get back to normal. Stay patient as emergency crews, electric workers, law enforcement, and officials work tirelessly to get our communities back to normal. 

LATEST UPDATES: 9/14/2017

3:41 p.m. - As Polk County begins to repair and restore from the effects of Hurricane Irma this week, Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center and Lake Wales Medical Center are offering free telehealth visits on Virtual Health Connect to help area residents get non-emergency medical care. The free telehealth visits are available through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 18, 2017 on any mobile device, computer or tablet. 

Virtual Health Connect provides on demand, live access to physicians and nurse practitioners at any time, but may be particularly helpful as members of the community are coping with the impact of rain, winds and flooding. The clinicians can help counsel individuals and families in their time of need with this quick and convenient program.

Access to free virtual visits on Virtual Health Connect can be done through an internet connection on any mobile device, tablet or desktop by visiting http://VirtualHealthIrma.com. At the time of visit, patients can enter coupon code IRMA to have their visit free of charge.

1:55 p.m. - Feeding Tampa Bay is delivering a truckload of MREs, bananas, and water for Hurricane Irma victims. They will distribute to the public from 5 - 6:30 p.m. in Lot 6 at Tropicana Field. 

12:24 p.m. - Pinellas County extendds local state of emergency for an additional seven days. 

12:23 p.m. - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Tampa office located at 5629 Hoover Boulevard will re-open on Monday, Sept. 18. Those with appointments from the week of September 10 will receive notification of a new appointment date.

12:15 p.m. - Public schools in Polk County are expected to reopen for students on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Previously, it was announced that schools would reopen for students on Monday, Sept. 18.However, due to continued power outages and ongoing work to repair schools following Hurricane Irma, students will now return on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Currently, more than half of Polk County Public Schools’ educational sites are without power. 

11:50 a.m. - Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the Tampa Bay Lightning along with community partners will provide food to residents who lost power during the storm starting at 1 p.m. at Robles Park today, Sept. 14. 

Food/Ice will also be distributed at Arbor Estates and Squire Villa as well as lunches to multiple Parks & Rec facilities.

PARTNER FOOD PROVIDERS:

  • Outback Steakhouse – 400 meals
  • Ford’s Garage – 400 meals
  • PDQ – 250 meals
  • Holy Hog – 200 meals
  • Mr. Empanada – 100 Cuban sandwiches
  • Marriott Waterside – 300 boxed meals

11:05 a.m. - Pinellas County has opened several cooling centers for people still affected by power outages. Click here for list of locations. 

10:47 a.m. - Road closures in Hillsborough County due to downed trees. 

  • Pine Street closed from Old Hillsborough Avenue to Clay Pit Road due to trees and power lines down. 
  • Highway 92 closed from Moores Road to Fritzke due to trees down. 

10 a.m. - AT&T has set up another charging station in St. Pete for a second day, for residents without power.

Charging station located at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S in St. Petersburg. From 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Residents are also welcome to vist a AT&T store to charge their phones. 

9:50 a.m. - After Hurricane Irma, many residents are in need of supplies and food. Three drop off locations in St. Pete are open from 9 a.m. - noon today, Sept. 14. 

Drop-off locations for emergency supplies and non-perishable goods: 

Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church
955 20th St. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Greater Mt. Zion AME
1045 16th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Christ Gospel Church
2512 22nd Ave., South
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
 

8:58 a.m. - Manatee County Utilities has rescinded its mandatory boil water notice that had been issued on Monday. 

(Tarpon Springs openings/closures)

8:20 a.m. - The Tarpon Springs Recreation Community Center will be closed Monday, Sept. 18. 

The Tarpon Springs Municipal Golf Course will be closed until further notice. 

Cycadia Cemetery will reopen Saturday, Sept. 16. 

Splash Park, Dog Park and Sunset Beach will reopen Saturday, Sept. 16. 

The Back to School Bash is still scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

The sports complex, Craig Park & buildings in Craig Park will be closed until further notice. 

City Hall is open. Tapron Springs library is open. 

Commercial garbage pickup started Wednesday, Sept. 13. Residential garbage pickup resumes today, Sept. 14. Debris collection will mobilize starting Monday, Sept. 18. The yard waste facility is open. 

Storm debris should be stacked on the right of way and should not be bundled. 

There are no boil water notices issued for Tarpon Springs. 

LATEST UPDATES: 9/13/2017

3:28 p.m. - The City of St. Petersburg has opened three mobile charging stations so residents without power can easily charged their mobile devices. They are open until 6 p.m. 

The three charging stations are located at: 

  • Carter G. Woodson Museum
  • Shore Acres Recreation Center
  • Childs Park Recreation Center

3:08 p.m. - New York New York Pizza is offering two free slices of pizza and soda to all members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the Tampa Police Department, Tampa Fire and Resuce, and Tampa General Hospital employees until Sunday. "In appreciation of the hard times they have been through, we are complimentary slices of pizza to law enforcement."

2:53 p.m. - Both Manatee County Animal Services locations have reopened Wednesday after closing to the public due to Hurricane Irma. Locations are: Palmetto Shelter & Adoption Center at 305 25th Street West and the Downtown Bradenton Cat Adoption Center at 1002 Manatee Avenue West. 

2:48 p.m. - The Humane Society of Pinellas is in need of donations after the 70-year-old outdoor facility took a beating from Hurricane Irma. All 200+ animals were safely placed in emergency foster homes and they now need to be brought back, but not before the facility gets repaired. Repairs are likely to cost more than $15,000. If you would like to donate, click here

1:50 p.m. - Curbside debris pickup for unincorporated Pinellas County will begin Monday. Items to be picked up include yard debris and construction and demolition debris. As Pinellas County Public Works crews finish clearing storm debris from roads, a second phase of recovery will soon begin to collect residential storm debris in unincorporated Pinellas.

Residents are asked to sort debris by item type and place in separate piles. These are the specific items that can be moved to the curbside for collection:

Construction and demolition debris

  • Building material including roof shingles and siding
  • Drywall
  • Lumber
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Plumbing

10:54 a.m. - Events postponed in Clearwater due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. 

  • Rock the Ribbon 10K, 5K and Kids Dash | Sept. 15 Postponed | New date TBD
  • Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K | Sept. 16 Postponed | New date TBD
  • Make a Difference Adult Fishing Tournament | Sept. 16 Postponed | News date TBD
  • Sammy Hagar and the Circle | Sept. 17 | Coachman Park Postponed | News date TBD
These events are still scheduled to take place this weekend: 
  • Pierce Street Market | Sept. 16 | Under Memorial Causeway Bridge behind City Hall | 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Pierce Street Market will be accepting donations to help with hurricane relief. Please visit PierceStreetMarket.com for more info.

10 a.m. - Hillsborough County's Pet Resource Center has resumed normal business hours and is asking the community to help pets and pet owners in need. The shelter is near capacity and is expecting more animals to arrive after the storm. Hundreds of ready-to-go dogs and cats are available and need to go to a loving forever home. Rescue and foster partners are also needed. 

The shelter's Safety Net Food Pantry is in need of donations to help pet owners affected by Hurricane Irma. The following list of items can be dropped off from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at the Pet Resource Center, 440 N. Falkenburg Road, or donate to hcprfoundation.org

  • Dry and canned food for dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens
  • Cat and kitten litter
  • Clean towels of all sizes (new or gently used)
  • Unscented baby wipes
  • Milk Bones brand treats (no butcher bones, rawhides or homemade treats)
  • Kong brand toys
  • Ping-pong balls and other waterproof toys for cats
Pet owners affected by Hurricane Irma may visit the Pet Resource Center to pick up food, litter, and other essential resources for their pets.
 
Pet owners who are missing their pets may check the online kennel and daily intake report at HCFLGov.net/Pets or call (813) 744-5660.
 
9:53 a.m. - The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is reminding anyone who needs post-hurricane repairs to make sure to hire reputable contractors for the job. If you come across scammers, please report them to the PCSO Construction License Investigative Unit immediately.

LATEST UPDATES: 9/12/2017

4:18 p.m. - Florida Hospital North Pinellas in Tarpon Springs will reopen for patient care on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 a.m. The hospital experienced some exterior damage, but no structural damage, and the Agency for Healthcare Administration has approved the facility to reopen.

4:15 p.m. - The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg will reopen at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The museum's structure did not suffer significant damage, according to officials, and the artwork inside was unharmed.

Outside the museum, the Avante-Garden did suffer some damage, and the museum's well-know "Wish Tree" was knocked down. However, the museum said the tree is "healthy" and they are working with an arborist to get it back up.

4:09 p.m. - St. Petersburg College campuses will reopen and classes will resume on Monday, Sept. 18.

1:30 p.m. - The Florida Aquarium is open Tuesday from noon - 5 p.m. Many people were eager to get outside and do something after being cooped up indoors during Irma. The lines to get into the aquarium began to stretch around the building. 

The aquarium will also open Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. with free parking and special admission pricing. 

  • Tuesday, Sept.12 and Wednesday, Sept. 13, will be Tampa Strong Day at The Florida Aquarium. The Aquarium, which escaped any significant damage from Hurricane Irma, will reopen to the public at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 12 and will offer free parking, $10 adult admission and $5 child admission through Wednesday to celebrate the community.

1:18 p.m. - (Tarpon Springs trash pickup) Waste Management residential garbage pickup will resume on Thursday, Sept. 14. Storm debris collection will mobilize beginning Monday, Sept. 18. Yard waste facility closed due to power outage. Commerical garbage pickup resumes Wednesday, Sept. 13. 

Storm debris should be stacked on the right of way and should not be bundled. 

11:30 a.m. - St. Pete currently has 77 intersections with non-working traffic signals. City placed 100 portable stop signs and 24 generators at intersections all over the city. Drivers to treat intersections with non-working lights as a four-way stop. 

DEBRIS: City crews are working to collect debris from neighborhoods over the next week. Residents should place tree limbs behind the curb, off the street, and in front of the house. Do not mix-in other storm debris with vegetation. 

11 a.m. - The Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group members extended the declaration for a state of local emergecny until Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Hillsborough County due to Hurricane Irma. 

9:53 a.m. - All YMCA of the Suncoast locations will open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., except for the Greater Palm Harbor YMCA which still has no power. For activities and classes please contact your Y for more information. There is NO before or after-school care available.

9:50 a.m. - Clearwater Beach lifeguards begin patrolling beach at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Pier remains closed due to minor damage. 

9:50 a.m. - PSTA will begin limited service today. Routes not running yet: 19, 52, 62, 66L, 67, 68, 90, 97. 

9 a.m. - An estimated 300 traffic signals are still inoperable due to widespread power-outages in Pinellas County. Citizens urged to use caution while driving on roadways. Sheriff's office working to staff as many intersections as possible. Drivers should treat intersections with non-functioning traffic lights as a four-way stop. 

8 a.m. - Boil water notices in effect for Hernando County include: 

  • Royal Oaks
  • Weeki Wachee Woodlands located east of US 19
  • Eastern Hernando County - all areas east of Hwy. 41 (excluding Cedar Lane and Dogwood Estates
  • City of Brooksville